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Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 315 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Sweep in Peace is book two of the Innkeeper Chronicles. This series works best in order as this one assumes the reader knows the characters and world building introduced in the earlier, Clean Sweep.
This one got off to a slow, but steady start and built up to a crisis point that was breathtaking and a real pageturner. During the build up, its a table setter time where details are important as is the time needed to get to know the three factions and the arbitrating team (this group will be familiar as minor crossover characters from the Edge series).
Dina has time to wonder about Sean the werewolf and about her parents and there is a sense of reflective sadness about it. I missed Sean's presence too because of the sparks and snappy dialogue the pair got up to in the earlier book. I never got bored, but I did feel the pace.
Caldenia the permanent guest and Orro the temperamental cook lend color and needed light-hearted balance to what can otherwise seem heavier on the atmosphere than the earlier book.
From my perspective, I felt this was a time when Dina's character was more revealed. Dina is one who needs control (goes back to losing her parents and also growing up in an inn when everyone, but the innkeeper is moving on) and that includes being in on the game plan so when she must stand to the side and watch George, the arbitrator, control the show, she seethes (and she has a point when things start to go down a certain way). Watching Dina cope with another mind more complex and cunning (and definitely more ruthless) than her own was actually what kept the slower, earlier pace from getting boring. In the first book, I felt she was a bit cocky because Sean knew nothing about the broad universe of alien worlds out there and she has the magic of the inn backing her of which she is also knowledgeable so she ran things in that adventure and even found amusement as Sean stumbled along. While this time around, what she knew and understood was not near good enough and she had to wrestle with that and then step up to play her role in the affair when the time came.
But that said, this book was not lacking in excitement. Dina had her usual skirmish with local human law enforcement suspicious of the goings on at the inn, there is a theft to solve and later a murder attempt not to mention warrior species out to kill each other while staying at the inn. The authors built things nicely to the point and delivered that intense finish.
I had to have this on audio after experiencing Renee Raudman narrating the first book. Soooo worth it. She delivers a magnificent performance of Dina and oh so many other unique and colorful characters let alone capturing the tone and emotions of the overall story and individual scenes.
I will be pressing on with this series and recommend it highly to sci-fi and urban fantasy lovers alike.
'Clean Sweep', the first book in this series, is a "stand-alone novel", yet one that lent itself easily to further stories. Being the story of an innkeeper and a magical, malleable inn catering to an alien clientele (in rural Texas-- go figure), it is easy to imagine more tales built around different guests, which is exactly what 'Sweep in Peace' turns out to be.
It is also easy to imagine it being completely derivative of the first book, which it isn't. Instead, and while using some of the light-hearted aspects of the first book that made it such a good read (poor Officer Marais!), this book is in many ways darker, as it touches on war and the roots of war.
Two characters coming to the summit are people we’ve met before. Arland, the vampire who is interested in her, and the Merchant she often deals with off-world, Nuan Cee. And we pick up a new interesting character when she realizes she needs a chef to feed her 40 guests.
I really like Dina. The woman knows what she needs to do and she doesn’t let people get away with stuff. She’s not afraid to throw her weight around, especially when people show disrespect. And we end up with a mystery and a no-win situation to figure out and overcome.
But my favorite character isn’t a character at all, but the house. Who wouldn’t want a house like that.
Overall, however, I liked meeting three characters from The Edge series again. I very much like the primary character and Innkeeper, Dina. She is an easy character to identify with, despite her magical powers. She still struggles with money problems, too much work in too little time, love problems, and worry about the survival of her Inn. She has to try to be a perfect Innkeeper even when her guests are so very trying. And, then, there is Officer Marais, a very good police officer who is, nevertheless, a problem for Dina. Which leads to the very humorous event in the Epilogue!
Another thing I really enjoyed is the fact that there are lovely illustrations and a beautiful cover for this book. I read it on my Kindle Fire, so got the benefit of the beautiful art in color. I hope subsequent books in this series continue to be illustrated!