27 December 2010

Book Review Number 24: Cauldron of Iniquity by Anne Lesley Groell



Cauldron of Iniquity was actually the first Cloak and Dagger novel I picked up.  I got it in the grocery store one day and picked it up because the cover interested me.  Being as inattentive as I sometimes have a tendency to be, I didn't realize that it was part of a series until I got it home.  But I read it anyway and I was incredibly glad to have done so.

Jen, Thib, Vera and Absolom are back for the third installment of the series.  This time, Jen & Thib have been given a bodyguard job for their Guildmaster's old friend, Saul.  He has been feeding information to Owen (the Guildmaster) regarding the Dreamsmoke trade and the family of someone he informed on has sent an assassin after him.  His own bodyguards are on vacation.  Since it should be a fairly easy job, he sends Jen & Thib.  But things are never as easy as they seem.  Saul has a lot to hide and has the help of beautiful psychopath Gideon to try to keep them from finding out what is going on.

This is by far one my favorite of the three books.  Even though you can see where the main plot of the story was going, it was interesting to see how Jen & Thib find out what is really going on.  Gideon is a truly scary psychopath.  Charming when he wants to be, but completely without morals.  And the worst is that Jen is completely blind to it.  Saul is just as ruthless as Gideon, but doesn't take it to the extremes.  

The best part for me, though, was the character development.  Jen grew up a lot in this book and her eyes actually opened to what she had in Thib.  But as with many of the best stories, it isn't really a pay off, because they still are afraid to tell each other what they are each thinking and miscommunication becomes the norm.  Jen manages to lose her confidence and gain it back, and Thib gains a backbone.  We find out more about Vera's past and one of the most important relationships of her life. While we don't learn more about Absolom, his relationship with Vera gets explored more.

The only problem that I have with this series is that there hasn't been a new book in over a decade.  I keep hoping that Anne Lesley will come out with a fourth book in the series, but I haven't heard anything new on it. Still, I constantly have hope.  Because I can't have anything less!