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Slower than the preceding volume, this is clearly a mid-series book building up to the grand climax. There a plot dependant reasons, but it's still a shame, that this is the first book of the series that didn't always hold me totally in thrall.Arithon ended the last book secured in Davien's retreat, recuperating. This lasts a year, and while the Fellowship Sorcerers are still recovering from the Korinthi's grand stroke against them, those left in the world must fend for themselves. For Feyland and Fiark this means business as normal, while Elaria waits in patience in Ath's hostel. Meanwhile the Forces of Light re-group once again after shattering losses inflicted by the Spinner of Darkness. A chance intervention reveals Lyessar to be in the grips of a necromancy cult - another force seeking the end of the Compact - and as the Korinthi manage to begin a new plot, it seems like Arithon's period of grace will be cut short. The beginning third of the book is quite slow. It doesn’t exactly drag, but there is a lot of positioning of characters and moving from local to local - which is always slightly confusing. The introduction of the necromancy plot feels very sudden. There were hints in previous volumes, but it seems unexpected to the reader, given that the Fellowship have had many uninterrupted centuries to prevent such cult's formation, and the sudden importance awarded to them. However the change of pace from the anguished action of the previous book to the more cerebral and spiritual torments of this one, is a welcome release - something that might be permanently denied to Arithon!Once the plot is all set up, the remaining tow third of the book are as good as ever - Arithorn remains cunning beyond all expectation and despite suffering setback upon adversity, remains a potent force. The descriptive writing is superb, as ever, in evocatively capturing the tension of a few crucial climaxes without straying into insensitivities that other authors resort to. Apart from the slow start the other negative point, is the plethora of clan and town names and locations scattered over the continent. The viewpoint and references jump form one to another, and without a map and glossary to hand side by side with the text it is very easy t get lost in who is going where with what grudge against whom. However we are revisiting a few key areas from previous books and little reminders soon place the important details. The slightly annoying scrying from one location leading to text at another continues, but the chapter breaks are quite clear when the narrative is transferring voices. Perhaps not the highpoint of the series, but well worth the setting up of the opening third, as the dramatic ending leaves a lot open for the next volume.more
Definitely NOT the place to start the series.Like the fabled Gordian knot, Wurts' plots are immensely convoluted, and Traitor's Knot is certainly no exception. Each character's thread flows to conclusion, and each book manages to build the suspense a bit further. Each small resolution only reveals a deeper dilemma. Be it moral, physical, or a combination of the two, the plotting and scheming seems endless, and the risk immense for the small reward of surviving to evade the Mistwraith's geas and prevent the fall of the Fellowship's compact for a few seasons longer. Wurts somehow manages to maintain the suspense - I have a nasty suspicion the end of the story in the series finale won't be pleasant, but I can't wait to find out.more
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