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Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Paladin’s Hope

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Paladin’s Hope (2021) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel)

Paladin's HopeThe third book in the Saint of Steel series.

Piper is the lich-doctor (think coroner) for the White Rat. He’d worked with several of the paladins of the Saint of Steel in solving the a series of murders. Now it looks like there is another murderer about.

It was this fifth man who nudged the corpse with the toe of his boot and said, “Well, if you want my professional opinion, this great goddamn hole in his chest is probably what killed him.”

Galen was a paladin of the Saint of Steel, who now works for the Temple of the White Rat. When their god died, all the paladins went into berserker rages. Galen was one of the unlucky ones who didn’t have anyone to stop him.

The one advantage police had over paladins was that guards had no problem believing that someone would randomly shove pointy logs into other people. Paladins generally took a little longer to get there. Piper suspected that their sense of innocence and moral outrage kept regrowing, possibly through divine means.

One of the things I really love about this book is that we are told that Piper and Galen find each other attractive, but we don’t get details about their looks–we rather get what each finds attractive about the other.

Piper gave him a brief smile. He really was very good-looking. Cheekbones you could slice cheese on.

It’s lovely to not have to read about endless physical perfection. Because: whatever.

We also get to spend a fair amount of time with a new gnole. The gnoles are really quite fascinating, and I very much liked Earstripe.

Humans don’t have whiskers.” Earstripe’s voice dropped on the last word, as if he were bringing up a terrible deformity.

And I love the worldbuilding around them.

“I’m not a priest,” said Piper, bemused.

Earstripe flicked his ears. “No, a priest.”

Piper looked at Galen for explanation.

“Priests and healers are the same caste among gnoles,” said Galen.

Although I enjoyed the story, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the earlier stories. First, Galen’s story arc was similar enough to Stephen and Istvhan’s that it wasn’t quite as interesting, and I get frustrated by the whole “I’m not good enough for my love” bit. It mostly felt as if Galen was creating his own barriers, which is a thing people do, but it’s not my favorite thing to read.

But Piper was a delight.

“Why on earth did I never ask Earstripe what his resting heartrate was?”

“It’s not the sort of thing that comes up in casual conversation.”

My other problem was I really didn’t get the ivory rooms. There were explanations, but they didn’t make a lot of sense to me. So that kind of gnawed at me.

But overall, it was delightful.

Publisher: Red Wombat Studio
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8.5/10, eBook, Fantasy, LGBT, Mystery, Romance, Sexual Content
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