This review is a few years late in coming. I bought Legacy of Wolves, by Marsheila Rockwell, when it first came out, and I promised her I’d give it a review. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note I first met her on-line when we were both contestants in Wizard of the Coast’s Maiden of Pain contest, and I have since beta-read another novel for her. I like her, and I like her writing. Do yourself a favor, and check some of it out — short stories or poems, or this book.
I am trying to keep this as free from spoilers as I can.
The back cover copy:
Grisly murders shake the small city of Aruldusk. Both the Church and the Crown send in agents to investigate. But when the body count continues to rise, these rival factions will have to learn to work together to track down the killers — even if it means hunting a killer in the highest reaches of power.
Legacy of Wolves was the third book released in the Inquisitives series, set in the Eberron campaign setting. The title makes it reasonably clear even before reading any of the book that something related to wolves is involved with the murders, and that impression is borne out in the prologue. Indeed, thinking that a werewolf is responsible by that point isn’t that far a stretch.
The story is well plotted, and the characters are clear. The setting is easier to follow if you have some familiarity with Eberron, but if you’re not too worried about specifics like tracking the dates, there’s enough detail in the book itself to keep you oriented.
At heart, this book is a mystery, and my one disappointment with the book was with one of the clues to the murderer’s identity. It felt so obvious to me that I hoped all the way through the book that it was instead a red herring, and in fact one of the characters close to the person indicated would turn out to be guilty. Alas, I was disappointed. However, from a story point of view the clue had to be present; if it had been withheld, readers would have felt justifiably angry at the author for hiding the information. Marsheila chose the right path, I think, and it’s hard to see how it could have been handled otherwise.
When this book came out, I had read every book set in Eberron that had been published so far (including Keith Baker’s, and he’s the one who created the setting). This is my favorite. I highly recommend Legacy of Wolves.
And look for her second book set in Eberron, to be released in 2011!