The trio are on the hunt for mysterious giant wolf bones left to protect a village in the Roef region. They are trying to track them down before the church does first. The church intendeds to publicly display their might by claiming the bones to be of evil origin before proceeding to desecrate them in the name of God. Holo intends to save the bones in order to protect her race from humiliation. Its all she can do for her people.
As a way of killing two birds with one stone for when they find Eve, they intend to ask her of any leads they can follow to find the bones, considering she has knowledge of church proceedings in the region.
Holo transforms back into her human girl form and they soon locate the ship Eve was supposed to be on. Only she's not there. However they do find Arold the old Lenos innkeeper, which proves to be enough evidence to suggest that Eve somehow switched to land transport along the way. This would make sense as authorities would want to track down the ship that caused the wreck upriver.
Around twilight that evening Holo spots a caravan in the distance soon to arrive in town. Sure enough, leading this land party is Eve. Eve has a look of sheer horror as Lawrence and Holo approach her at the town gate. Lawrence notices that Holo is about to lunge at her and decides to hold her back. However bad the situation may be, the reunion goes off to a good start as the woman back away from making any antagonistic confrontations with each other.
Eve recommends to them a good inn to stay in town, and so that is exactly where the trio end up staying.
The next morning Holo is stricken to her bed, unable to move. Lawrence remembers the last time this happened but unlike before, she is not sick, only suffering from muscle fatigue because her pride prevented her from taking regular breaks from all that running she did the day before. Lawrence considers this and concludes that she prefers her true physical form to her human one. She loved spending as much time in her wolf form as she could, and loved showing off her abilities and true strengths.
Lawrence thanks Holo for caring for him enough to want to pick a fight with Eve, and she accepts it.
Col walks in from having gone shopping all morning. He has brought back some type of medicinal balm, which Holo turns her nose up too due to its awful stench. Col insists its for Lawrence's bruise on his face. After application and bandaging it up, Lawrence proceeds to using the rest up on Holo. He applies it on her back and shoulders, much to her protest.
Lawrence thanks Col and gives him bread to eat. Col reminds Lawrence that they have a pre arranged meeting with Eve downstairs in the inns dining area. They leave Holo to recover and go to meet her.
Lawrence and Col find Eve sitting at a table and walk over to join her. They talk business and its quickly established that Lawrence is uninterested in getting back any of his money that Eve stole from him (Wait... I'm sorry, WHAT?! ....... HU?!?!?) and instead proceed to talk about leads regarding the missing bones. I may have missed this fact before or its being mentioned for the first time here, but it becomes a fact that Col is from the same village that the bones are missing from.
They go for a walk to where Eves temporary hide away is. She explains that the origins of the wolf bone rumor should be found in a town upriver. The copper coin problem that was mentioned in book 6 is brought up yet again. Lawrence mentions that he has still to unravel the mystery.
Because Lawrence and Eve hit it off so well, Col considers them to be in a relationship, and that their tiff was because he ran off with Holo instead.
Back in the inn, Holo and Lawrence share a romantic moment which makes him stroke her cheek with his fingers whilst she's still on the bed. She entices him further by saying "is that all?", which makes him lower his face to hers, about to kiss, buuuuuuuut Col rudely interrupts them by knocking on the door. Lawrence realises that she enticed him into kissing her knowing full well they would be interrupted from the approaching Col. So in other words she was teasing him, AGAIN. Alone again a little whiles later she attempts to make up and be slightly more serious about their relationship by asking Lawrence to wash her topless back with a damp cloth. Lawrence misreads her and declines the offer, thinking shes only teasing him again. This is the first time Holo has shown to be needy for physical interaction with him.
They take a walk to the merchant district to find the Jean Company, the same place that is involved with the copper coin incident. This is a ramshackle of a place that like its about to fall into administration. However Lawrence is wary of this, knowing that its likely to be some type of disguise and besides, the main dealings from the company happen upstream. Lawrence introduces himself as an associate of Eve, on business regarding the wolf bones. He hands over Eves letter which basically gives her consent for him to talk to Lawrence about everything he knows regarding the bones. He takes out a case of bones that is apparently the culmination of 2 years work on the subject.
They have a lavish lunch. Holo and Lawrence banter some more in which suggests they have become a couple at last, however Col is in the way. Fucking great ¬_¬
They go to a market at the delta. Eve turns up with her cronies. Lawrence decides to follow her, letting Holo and Col go off to explore.
I'm now half way through this lackluster novel. Its fucking boring.
Lawrence and Holo share more intimate moments without kissing. At this point I'm saying this is extremely OOC. There are no excuses. The author has lost touch with his own characters.
Eve and Lawrence witness some sort of event at the waters of the delta.
Lawrence, Holo and Col are at a tavern and decide to come up with a plan on gaining more information about the Jean Company regarding the wolf bones or the gold coins. Holo would dress as a nun and try to talk to the church of the southern side of town. Lawrence would talk with the Rowan Trade Guild on the southern side, and Col would do something or another in the northern side of town.
I'm now 2 thirds through the book and its FINALLY gotten interesting:-
Lawrence talks to a man named Kieman, a well dressed man seemingly in charge of the Rowan Trade Guild of the south side of Kerube. Lawrence tries to stir things up by starting a rumor about the Jean company, and this bloke instantly realises and comes down on Lawrence like a ton of bricks. He forces Lawrence to spill the beans on everything he knows about his connections and past history with Eve. Just then Kieman is called to deal with a commotion. Lawrence notices the panic on everyones faces, then notices Holo outside. He goes over to her and she tells him that she was told to leave the church almost straight after she arrived. This is very odd and out of character of the church to turn away a questioning nun. Holo then says that the epicenter of the commotion is located at the river, where apparently she saw Amati down there (the sleazy guy from novel 3).
The book became dead boring again.
All 3 protagonists meet at their inn. Col had been posing as a beggar to gain information but he didn't get anything.
Apparently Ted Reynolds of the Jean Company is reducing the number of copper coin boxes by three and profiting from the reduced taxes and transport costs. And apparently he's doing this by somehow being able to re-stack 60 boxes worth of coins better which would end up with 3 empty boxes, or something. My mind has been wandering when reading this god awful book. I've even fallen asleep reading it on multiple occasions.
Oh and theres more- if Ted Reynolds gets caught, the penalties and loss of credibility on the Jean Company would be too great, so somehow the wolf bones is like a back up plan for Ted, or something.
The three main characters mull it over for ages and realise that Eve is probably pulling more strings than they realise, so they make a plan for Lawrence to try and seduce her for more information. At that point the innkeeper knocks on the door and gives Lawrence a letter from Eve. She's given the innkeeper instructions to take Lawrence alone to a secret location. Lawrence complies and they set off via carriage.
At this undisclosed location where Eve is apparently being 'held', she explains to Lawrence that the commotion at the southern sides dock was because a rare Narwhal was caught. Because the boat carrying it in is from the North side, it signals trouble ahead. The North side of the town will most probably use this to pay off their debts with the south, shifting the economical balance between the two sides of town which will be enough of an excuse to start a raging power hungry war.
Eve tells him a landowner who is madly in love with her is holding her in this place. He will steel the Narwhal back for the north and sell it to buy land in the south. Eve suggests to Lawrence to be a spy for her on Kieman and the Rowan Trade Guild. He declines and walks out.
Back at his inn Holo gives him a letter from the Rowan Trade Guild. War is about to get underway between the two sides of the town and he thinks it best to manipulate the Jean Company in another town. However something tells me though that he's not going to leave this town.
This story continues (and finishes) in the next volume.
I don't quite understand this, but when they finally find Eve, they don't grill her for their money back?! I'm sorry but WTF. Double You Tee Eeff. They are FLAT BROKE, and they don't ask her for at least SOME of their money back!? I understand that its been mentioned before that Lawrence kinda likes Eve and respects her despite what she did, but COME ON. He's FLAT broke. NO MONEY. NONE. Ask yourself, its the middle ages and your confronting your burglar who took all your money. What would you do?
Somehow in this story Lawrence has money. HU? Where did that come from?!
This was the slowest start to these novels so far, and it didnt improve. It was really slow and boring as hell. It doesn't help that Holo was out the picture due to bed rest, or that Col was around.
Talking of Col its not that he's getting in the way of any romance so its not that bad, I guess, but I still don't like him around. When I read the impending bedroom kiss, only to be interrupted by Col, I got so mad I put the book down and stopped reading. After continuing again it was explained that she knew he was approaching the bedroom door and so she never expected to be kissed, this time at least. So I forgive the author on this occasion.
Holo has shown to want physical interaction with Lawrence, even if the offer was only a back rub. Their relationship is finally hotting up but the hangups on progression seem to stem from either Col being around (I mean just in general. Col is trying his best not to be in their way romantically) or from them just plainly not talking to each other about wanting to be more intimate.
I'm pleased the copper coin situation was explained. It was frustrating not knowing what the mystery was during book 6.
This book sets up a story for the next book. However this is just plain old shit. Why should we readers have to slog though an entire book that just sets up groundwork?! AN ENTIRE NOVEL!
Let me get this straight- the following rating is based on the fact that this novel doesnt end its story. I have never read a book that splits its story up into 2 novels like this because its author is apparently restricted to printing so many pages per volume. This is outrageous. One story should be in one book; no matter how fat the book becomes. So my advice is to only read this when have the means of reading volume 9 straight afterwards.
4/10. Piss poor.