A tarboy on a magnificent sailing vessel finds himself at the center of a conspiracy to start a war by magical means, and his friendship with a betrothed young Lady might be the beginnings of a plot to defeat an evil mage.
I’ve mentioned a million times how much I hate summarizing epic fantasy in one sentence. You need a little more backstory to really get what a story is about. But rules is rules, sez I, and one sentence synopses is my rule. Basically The Red Wolf Conspiracy has high adventure, high seas, and magic in a world that has some shades of the Renaissance and some from later in European history, only peppered with Indian-inflected character names. There are seductive mermaids, unstoppable zombies, brutal ogres, and powerful mages. There’s Thasha, a headstrong young girl being given in marriage to seal a treaty alliance. And there’s Pazel Pathkendle, son of a disgraced sea captain, now eking out a life as the lowest man onboard a sailing ship, with a magical gift by which he can learn a language on one hearing–thus enabling him to communicate with ixchel, tiny creatures whom sailors call “crawlies.”
The Red Wolf Conspiracy is the first book in the series, which may explain the rushed ending. It really let me down. It felt like everything got neatly tied up in order to bring the key characters together so that they could continue on the adventure. For the most part, I enjoyed the read but I’m not dying for the second book to come out. I’ll read it if it falls into my hands, but I’m not going to stalk the publication date or anything.