Legacy of Wolves is murder mystery of the highest caliber. It follows a Dwarven Inquisitive (detective), a Paladin of the Silver Flame (religious warrior) and a Shifter Ranger as they each attempt to discover who is actually killing numerous people in the town of Aruldusk. The town's Bishop has blamed the shifter community, going so far as to lock a different shifter up each time a new murder is committed.
Greddark, the dwarf, is hired by a young human bard whose twin brother was murdered in front of him, while he fled to safety.
Andri, the Paladin is brought in by The Keeper of the Flame (a very wise 14-year-old girl) because Irulan, the shifter ranger, is trying to get her brother Javi released (he's being held for one of the murders). Andri is ordered to discover whether it truly is the shifter community to blame for the murders.
The Silver Flame and Greddark (working for one of the great houses) have different agendas and don't really trust each other, but are both after the same thing, which brings us to the reason why this book is really so very, very good.
A leisurely paced opening act allows the reader to get to know these characters, who have fears and hopes that are brought out by this investigation. We learn about Andri's past...a tragic affair having to do with werewolves and the death of his parents at his own hands. We learn of Greddark's own history with a rival dragonmarked house, a member of whom will stop at nothing to have HIM killed. We learn of Irulan's history as a shifter, her legacy as a descendant of the moon-touched.
Through it all, the mystery slowly unfolds. We learn things as the inquisitives do. We see each character face their deepest fears. Not of all of them come out of it in good shape. However, once all three of the main characters come together, the story takes off, increasing speed and intensity. The action, when it comes, is intense and bloody (in a pg-13 kinda way). This serves well to not only shock the characters, but also the readers, who will come to understand exactly why the characters feel so strongly about certain events.
A strong plot, a tight mystery, slowly revealed, and superior characterization make this third book in Eberron's Inquisitives series another home run. It isn't often you see back-to-back-to-back winners, but Eberron has delivered once again.
Ed Bolme's BOUND BY IRON, Paul Crilley's NIGHT OF THE LONG SHADOWS and now, Marsheila Rockwell's LEGACY OF WOLVES are all top-notch mysteries, with violent action and involving characters. Lucky for us, a fourth title, Jeff LaSala's THE DARKWOOD MASK, is on its way. Let's hope Eberron decides to continue with this wonderful series of mysteries.
Congratulations to Mrs. Rockwell for a thoroughly engaging first novel. Here's hoping we see more adventures from her (and these characters she has so skillfully created) in the future.