This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Dragon Scale Publishing, Publisher. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Secrets at the Keep by Eric Buffington
Illustrator: Bob Kehl
Series: Kingdom of Denall
Also in this series:The Troven, The Changing
Also by this author: The Troven, The Changing
Release Date: September 16, 2016
Publisher: Dragon Scale Publishing
Format: ARC, E-book
Source: Dragon Scale Publishing, Publisher
Purchase at: Amazon
The powerful Baron Omer has been secretly maintaining a slave village under the nose of the king for years. The wealth and political clout he has built for himself have made his sprawling castle complex, known simply as The Keep, the most formidable power center on Denall outside the capitol city. Omer has also been searching for the Stones of Power, using any means necessary to track them down - even striking a deal with the evil sorcerer Mordyar and his stone seekers. Now the stones are coming to him, but not in a way that will bring him any pleasure. Wielding the Sight and Hearing Stones, Kaz Kinsley and the beautiful but mysterious Pentra are on their way to free the slaves and bring Omer down. With the other Stones on the move, Omer's secrets will not remain hidden for long.
I enjoyed this story as much as I did the previous book, The Troven. This story picks up where the previous book left off and it has continued to serve up action and adventure at every turn. We delve further into the mystery of the six magical stones called the stones of power and follow the stories of the surviving members from the first book.
What I liked about this book? I liked that the story is a true continuation but that Kaz, Farin, and Bendar have chosen to walk different paths. Each protagonist’s viewpoint is a layer to the overall story. Although they are separated you can still feel that they each have a connection to each other. That the paths they have chosen are what they need to grow as men but at the same time there is a deep comradery that exists between them. Even in regards to Bendar’s character as he was the least valued member at the beginning of the first book.
One character, Mylot, was featured in the first book but I really thought he was just a minor character put there to add to the story but of no real consequence. In this book he has taken on a larger role and I have to say that I am surprised that I like the expansion of his character. He has had great growth and I like where he is going. Another addition that I am thrilled about is Captain Bethany Conrad, she was introduced in The Troven, but not until the very end. Now we are able to see more of her character and she is a no nonsense woman who seems cruel and without compassion but she is not all that she seems. I love strong female characters and she truly fits the bill plus she adds some humor and I always like humor. Speaking of strong females, the mouse of a girl in the last story, Maggie, has completely surprised me. There is some heavy stuff going on with her and I am very excited to see that story pan out. Wow, if she is what I think she is then I never saw that coming!
So what did I not like about this story? I liked everything really but what I would wish for would be more “character” in the characters. I like when characters have idiosyncrasies or traits that separate them from others and not always the typical traits of strength or being stoic. I like colorful characters that are endearing and memorable. These characters have an interesting backstory and goals but their passion and depth of character are not very “real” to me. That would be my only desire for this story, some quirkiness in the main cast. All in all, this was a great read! For me this is a gem of a series and I am looking forward to the continuation of this tale.
*Thank you to Dragon Scale Publishing for this eARC of Secrets at the Keep*