Monday, April 17, 2006

The Warrior's Bond - Juliet E McKenna

Juliet E McKenna's The Warrior's Bond is the fourth of the "Tales of Einarinn" and switches the PoV back to Ryshad, with its events taking place about half way through the time period covered by the events in The Gambler's Fortune. Whilst Livak is facing a dangerous summer away in the West of Einarinn, Ryshad is spending most of his summer in Toremal as a newly Chosen Man to Messire D'Olbriot. Whereas he had spent much of his time travelling on his Patron's business as a Sworn Man, now Ryshad is meant to be dancing attendance on Messire and the rest of the D'Olbriot family, particularly his nephew Camarl. However, Ryshad's ingrained independence, plus the loyalty he feels to Temar D'Alsennin (newly arrived from the colony of Kel Ar'Ayen to meet the Princes and the Emperor of Tormalin to establish trading agreements with the Princes), is making his role harder than he had anticipated. He agreed to become a Chosen Man when D'Olbriot offered him this advancement following the events of The Swordsman's Oath, rather than handing back his oath fee to become a free agent, as he had considered doing. Ryshad knows he needs to make himself indispensable to Messire if he is to gain sufficient advancement to give himself and Livak a future together, but the machinations of younger men from those Houses who are opposed to D'Olbriot and the Emperor Tadriol are increasingly threatening both D'Olbriot and D'Alsennin; soon Ryshad will find himself forced to make a choice between his Patron and his friend because he cannot continue with such divided loyalties.

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