The third installment in Ballantine’s Book of the Order series is not for readers new to this universe. This is a book deeply entrenched in its own canon, characters and plots. The Order of the Deacons stands between the normal world and Otherside to protect its citizens, no matter the peril that comes to them personally. Characters handle the fallout from Spectyr in this volume; Sorcha, Merrick and Raed spend a good deal of this book separated, tortured and, in Sorcha’s case, unable to even express themselves through action or speech. A fast-paced adventure, but I dearly wished Sorcha hadn’t been such a pawn early on.
Sorcha Faris is trapped in her own body, unable to communicate, even using the mental connection — the Bond — she normally has with her Deacon partner, Merrick Chambers. The Deacons are sworn to guard the vulnerable citizens of the Empire of Arkaym but, with Sorcha currently incapacitated, that’s more challenging than ever. And when Sorcha is taken from her abbey room against her will, Merrick is left to discover what’s become of her. No easy task since he’s also been comissioned to check up on a new addition to the Emperor’s court. As Sorcha copes with her abduction, she is placed on a path that may end up answering questions about her own family ... but at what cost? (ACE, Sep., 320 pp., $7.99)