Seaspray (2007) is the fifth fantasy novel in the Rover series and the second in the Quest for the Trilogy, following Boneslicer. In the previous volume, Jugh found the first journal, which described the adventures of Wick in the Cinder Clouds Islands. But the battleaxe was lost to a band of Razor's Kiss thieves.
In this novel, Jugh is a Dweller or halfer. He is now the Grandmeister of the Vault of All Known Knowledge. He is searching for the journals by Wick, his mentor.
Edgewick Lamplighter is also a Dweller. He is the former Grandmeister, but Wick turned over his responsibilities to Jugh. Then he left with The Book of Time on an unknown quest.
Craugh is a Wizard. He is best known for turning people who offend him into toads. He is older that a thousand years, having fought in the Cataclysm of Lord Kharrion. Craugh had started the quest for the trilogy.
Alysta is a talking cat. She had been a human, but Craugh transferred her soul to a cat body as she was dying.
Quarrel is a tall and strong human warrior.
In this story, Jugh searches for the second journal in the trilogy in Deldal's Mill. His information tells him to ask Ministrel Ordal to explain a riddle. The ministrel was not at the Wayside Inn when Jugh arrives, but returns shortly thereafter.
Jugh is surprised to discover that the Ministrel Ordal is a woman. The last time he had met the ministrel, he had been a man. But the title is hereditary and the previous Ministrel Ordal had died recently.
The current holder of the title is Yurial, the daughter of the previous Ministrel. Jugh had known her as a child and is pleased to renew his acquaintance. She quickly explained the riddle and they go to find the journal.
Since the journal is encrypted, only Wick and Jugh can easily read it. This volume tells of Wick's search for the sword Seaspray. Jugh starts reading the account.
The journal states that Wick was dropped off on the other side of the Ice Daggers from the town of Wharf Rat's Warren. He walked across the mountains leading a stubborn donkey. When he finally reached the town, his bare feet were numb.
Wick left the donkey in a livery stable and went next door to enter the Tavern of Schemes. The door was locked, so Wick took out his lock picks to open the door. But Quarrel advised him that he would earn a bolt in the head if he picked the lock.
Quarrel used a special knock on the door and was admitted into the Tavern. But the troll guarding the door was reluctant to admit Wick. The Dweller drew upon his knowledge of adventure books to concoct a new name and profession.
Righty Lightfingers -- thief and assassin -- was admitted through the door, but the current inhabitants laughed at his story. They decided that Righty should prove his claims by opening the bar safe. Wick listened to the action and soon everybody hears the first pin drop. After a while, the safe is open and Righty was accepted as a thief. But the habitues are still not certain about the assassin claims.
Later, four Razor's Kiss guild members walk into the Tavern and then an outsider comes to meet them. When the five walk out, Alysta tells WIck to follow them. Wick is not sure about following the orders of a talking cat, but she has long, wicked claws, so he goes to get his donkey.
After a long and cold journey following the thieves, the donkey stops and tells Wick to get off. Now the donkey is talking! Since the thieves are camped ahead, the donkey does make sense.
They camp beneath a spruce tree and Wick huddles up in his cloak and blanket. He gradually moves closer to the stinky donkey and soon falls to sleep in the extra warmth. Then Wick awakes to find the thieves closing in on him.
This tale changes the quest to a search for another magical weapon. Seaspray had also been lost in the Battle of Fell's Keep along with Boneslicer. Wick soon learns that Alysta was a descendent of Dulaun, the original owner of the sword.
The story finds Wick being held captive several times, but he always gets away until the next time. The last book in this trilogy is Deathwhisper. Read and enjoy!
Highly recommended for Odem fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of murderous thieves, long lost magical weapons, and a brave halfling.
-Arthur W. Jordin