With the war over, what do you do with the peace? The Nation of Kyralia has had its society changed by the war, from the lowest peasant to the mages to the politicians. This is most marked in the city of Imardin, where the former purges or forcible removing of the “Lower Class” have been stopped and people of lower birth with the right skills can now join the magicians guild. With this social change comes a new problem, the spread of a mind altering drug called Roet which is stretching its tendrils to stalk the upper and lower classes alike. Amongst this, the cities Thieves, a group of smugglers, merchants and racketeers of varying backgrounds and amounts of honour are being picked off, one by one, by a foe only known as “The Thief Hunter”.
And that’s without even looking into relationships with the former hostile nation…..
This is the shifting background to The Ambassadors Mission, the beginning of a new story arc following on from The Black Magician Trilogy. And all of the above is gleaned by reading the book, without breaking the flow of action or plot, as I’ve not read the Trilogy.
The tale encompasses all of the above threads, winding them together with a great cast of characters who all have well expressed personalities. There’s Cery, one of the Thieves who is trying to stop the Thief Hunter before the man stops him for good. He’s presented as a lively man, in the late prime of his life who delivers the story from the city street level.
Sonea, an old friend of Cery, was destined for a different life. The events of the war plucked her off the streets and placed her into the halls of the magician’s guild as one of the rare “Black” or “High” magicians, who work by drawing power off other people. At least, I think that’s the case. It’s one of the few things that doesn’t come through that clearly, sadly. Anyway, having reached the guild, she’s working hard to improve the lot of those she left behind and provides the story with its section of magic and intrigue.
Furthering the intrigue is her son, Lorkin, who is going to assist the latest ambassador to Sachaka, as well as historical uses and forms of magic. However, he has a problem, in that he’s the son of the man who defeated Sachaka in the last war…. Finally, the ambassador also has his own flaw- he’s a “Lad”, or homosexual, posted to a country that frowns upon the concept of love between men….
With such a diverse and interesting cast of characters and the plot twining the fates of two detailed, interesting and fundamentally different nations, The Ambassadors Mission proved to be a true page-turner of a read with well paced and described action, intriguing politics and excellent story telling throughout. I found the book an excellent read, and I’m strongly inclined to go back and read its predecessor which, coincidentally, is previewed at the end of Lord of Fire and Air which I aim to review shortly!
Regards to all,