Author: Joanne Reid
Book: Gilraën and the Guilds: Gilraën and the Doom of the Adjudicars (Jaralii Chronicles #5)
Published: January 2021
Genre: FantasySource: eBook
I want to apologize to my normal readers and to Joanne Reid for the lateness in finishing this book. My father fell in mid-February and helping to care for him took a lot of my ambition out of me. Hopefully, it is finally coming back.
The Adjudicars are on the move. Narwortland’s Supreme Guild launches probing attacks from the West. In the West, the Holy Order of Farrowspike launches a series of attacks. Now the Council of Jaralii prepares for war, and they need intelligence. What are their enemies’ strategic objectives? How involved are the Adjudicars? High Queen Gilraën has a plan. She disguises herself as a human weapons smith (Gillian Gilaman) and infiltrates the Narwortland guild system. From within, she penetrates the hierarchy, accepting contracts to upgrade Narwortland’s weapons and armor. Can she balance superior weapons against the intelligence she’s gathering? Can she extract herself before she gets caught?
Joanne Reid’s Gilraën and the Guilds moves on from the long setup in Gilraën Returns. As usual, Joanne Reid shows great aptitude in the technical challenges and establishing relationships between characters. In Gilraën and the Guilds, she has moved into the realm of “cloak and dagger.” High Queen Gilraën and some of her elves take a deep cover assignment to penetrate the Guilds of Narwortland. Narwortland has been menacing the Duchy of Armjurstton. Disguised as weapons and armor smiths, Gilraën and her agents find a niche in the Supreme Guild system that allows them to interact directly with Narwortland’s army. One wrong step can mean discovery.
Can you get too deep into the technical weeds of a subject? Yes. I applaud the research Joanne Reid must have done to learn about weapons smithing. It is integral to the story. However, it could be pared back. Still, I am something of a geek, so I found it interesting. Gilraën challenges the guild system from within, making enemies, but winning friends as well. I am interested in how these relationships develop, once the armies clash for real. I look forward to Gilraën and the Two Cities.