My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The fourth installment in Ilona Andrews serialized Innkeeper Chronicles focuses on Maud, innkeeper Dina Demille's older half-sibling. The sisters had a close relationship prior to Maud's marriage and during the events of One Fell Sweep, Dina rushes to the aid of her sister and niece, five year old Helen, with the help of her man Sean and sort-of-friend Arland. Arland, who hangs around after the rescue, is clearly smitten with Maud, who is suffering PTSD after surviving several years of exile on a dry husk of a planet where her she and her daughter saw her husband brutally murdered. Sweep of the Blade follows Maud as she travels to Arland's planet to see if she could live among his people for the sake of her daughter Helen, but also because a small corner of her heart still hopes for love and a warm, safe, and productive life. Arland has incautiously stunned his family by announcing he's arriving with a bride but then that she refused him but to still roll out the read carpet. His family is not thrilled by a long shot because they're in the midst of a high pressure event and because Maud is, horrors, human. (I might add, well... maybe human. Maud has some surprising magic sort of related to the innkeepers)
In Ilona Andrews Innkeeper world, an offshoot of their The Edge series, vampires are a Viking-like people, werewolves are aliens from a lost planet, and a variety of other intelligent alien species like the adorable but cunning furry lees, the chameleon-colored insectoid tatchis, co-exist.
Sweep of the Blade is classic Ilona Andrews, with their trademark action and humor. It's a fun summer vacay read. I could quibble over how troubled but utterly perfect Maud is, how over the top adorable Helen is, how Arland upends his entire life for a human woman he's known for just a few weeks, how the ending just felt a bit rushed, but... naaaah. I love these authors and they can't ever write a bad book. If you're looking for a fin read for your weekend, this. is. it.
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