Review: The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan

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When the last member of the oldest noble family in Avryn is targeted for assassination, Riyria is hired to foil the plot. Three years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and the cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start life as rogues-for-hire. Things have gone well enough until they’re asked to help prevent a murder. Now they must venture into an ancient corner of the world to save a mysterious woman who knows more about Royce than is safe and cares less about herself than is sane.

From the best-selling author of The Riyria Revelations comes the third installment of The Riyria Chronicles. Although part of a series, it’s designed to thrill both new readers looking for fun, fast-paced fantasy and Riyria veterans wishing to reunite with old friends.

My Thoughts

This is another great book of the Riyria Chronicles. The ending, or rather the death the title refers to, is somewhat unexpected. There are clues along the way, and then things happen so quickly, you expect it but also don’t believe it after it happens.

I am a big fan of the Riyria characters, Royce and Hadrian. Royce is overly serious, while Hadrian is more easy going and always wanting to help. These two together, creates a humor that keeps the story kind of light, and makes it fun to read. There is tension between the two, since they both see the world differently. Royce believes everyone is out to get you, while Hadrian chooses to believe people are mostly good. This finds Hadrian, once again, in a bit of trouble, and leaves Royce to discover him and get him out of trouble. Although, Hadrian does somewhat save himself and others in the room. There is actually a but of a chuckle there, but you’ll have to read the book to get the joke.

The leader of Dulgath is a very smart person, wise beyond her years. There is a reason for this you won’t believe. She is able to play the game of chess life seems to be, and plays it well. I read books like this, with characters like her, wishing I could play the real life game like they do. She also doesn’t seem to be worried about the threat against her life, but also knows much about this threat. The relationship that kind of develops between her and Royce is interesting. For all the sneaking Royce is supposed to be able to do, she keeps finding and knowing when he is in a room she just entered.

There is a bit of magic so to speak in this story. I can’t say much, but there is some great healing action happening. This is not the largest part magic plays though. Magic comes really in to play at the end, so I don’t want to say any more on this topic so I don’t spoil things.

I cried a small bit at one of the deaths which happens to a new character. I hoped beyond hope a twist would happen and someone would find the body and some of that magical healing would happen. Alas, it did not. The pain at this death was somewhat surprising to realize I was feeling sad at the death, as I didn’t expect to become so close to this character. I think the sadness was more for a relationship with another character which was also killed with their death.