Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Minstrel's Covenant by Nance Burlow Morgan

By Carrie Anne

Mareese was still recovering from a two year old rebellion and a one year old battle with demons from the gates of hell.  Saeede and Andreas lived there, happily compsoing songs about their last great adventure.

While across the sea in Nagrom, a young king sought to change the culture of war amongst the kingdoms of his continent.  He sought a trade treaty with the people of Crystalier and sent his friend and ambassador to Mareese to promote his idea.

At the reception to introduce the ambassador to the leaders of Crystalier, everything was going superbly, until the ambassador was stricken with convulsions and died-the victim of poison!

The ambassador's men broke diplomatic protocols and arrested a local shopkeeper; an apothecary, and Saeede's mother!  Saeede and Andreas launch a secondary investigation behind the scenes.

The investigation is nearly botched when the ambassador's man realizes who Saeede is to the apothecary.  This creates a delicate diplomatic dilemma.  Saeede would not be swayed and discovered an imposter afoot-an imposter who looks like the ambassador's daughter!  When they are about to close in, the imposter gives them the slip, and the chase takes them across the sea to Ahnges.  There it becomes apparentthat political gain is at the root of the problem.

Thrust into a tangle of mistrusting kings the two friends are called upon to apprehend the ambassador's assassin and uncover the instigator behind the murder.

Minstrel's Covenant is Bulow-Morgan's third release.  A mystery adventure that spans two countries with very different cultures. The reader will be hooked from the very beginning of this intricate tale.  (From Amazon description)

This is the second book in the Minstrel's Tale Mystery series, and in my mind a better one than the first.  It's easy enough to pick up and jump in, with jus enough of a review to bring you up to date without retelling the whole first book.  The mystery at the beginning draws you in and the characters are entertaining.

For some reason, though, the book just doesn't hold my interest.  I'm not sure why.  The first few chapters were interesting and I had high hopes, but I just felt like I was slogging through after that.  The political intrigue went over my head and the long descriptive passages weren't as interesting to me as the sections with conversation.  I felt sometimes that the author made leaps in understanding that I wasn't able to follow.

Morgan is currently writing a third book in this series.  Continued improvement gives me hope that one of these days, I'll be able to say I really loved one.  Now if we could just do something about the 8 bit graphics on the cover :)

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