THE RATS AND THE RULING SEA begins where THE RED WOLF CONSPIRACY ended; Thasha’s wedding is hours away. It is a wedding that will both fulfil the promise of a mad god’s return and see her murdered. Pazel has thwarted the sorcerer who would bring back the god but both sides now face deadlock. Can Thasha be saved? Can the war between two Empires be stopped?
THE RATS AND THE RULING SEA is, once again, focused on the giant ancient ship, the CHATHRAND, but now she must brave the terrors of the uncharted seas; the massive storms and the ship swallowing whirlpools and explore lands forgotten by the Northern world, all the time involved in a vicious running battle with a ship half her size but nearly her match.
Robert Redick’s new novel takes the reader further into the labyrinthine plots and betrayals that have underscored the trilogy from the beginning. We learn more about the Ixchel as they fight for survival against the Chathrand’s rats, discover more about the true motives of conspirators, live with Thasha and Pazel as they face death and deceit, and as the Chathrand sails into the infamous Ruling Sea.
Robert Redick’s sequel to the acclaimed THE RED WOLF CONSPIRACY is a masterpiece of plotting and adventure. As each page turns the reader shares with the characters the dawning realisation that nothing is at it seems.
I read and enjoyed The Red Wolf Conspiracy earlier this year and was looking forward to The Rats and the Ruling Sea since putting it down. The world building and characterisation that Redick gave in the first book was something that hooked me and gave that feeling that made me want to read The Rats and the Ruling Sea so much. Despite being longer, this book is just as enjoyable and opens up ome very interesting situations by the time the last page is turned…
We still follow Pazel, Thasha and co. and most of the story is told through their eyes, although Arunis is still plotting and scheming to ensure his ends are met. There are some interesting developments in relationships during the story and not all are expected which adds the element of not quite knowing what to expect. The ongoing quest of those marked by the Red Wolf is one of the more interesting threads and gives a deeper perspective of what is at stake and what needs to be done to stop the Arunis and his plans for the Shaggat. While some characters are explored more deeply than others the overall cast contribute well to the whole and this makes The Rats and the Ruling Sea a deeply involved and pleasurable reading experience. Without such strong characters I doubt I would have enjoyed reading this as much as I did.
The most enjoyable aspect for me was the world in which The Rats and the Ruling Sea is set. While there is noticeably less world building going on here compared to The Red Wolf Conspiracy, what is explored is deeply satisfying. With the voyage to take the Chathrand across the Ruling Sea we get little glimpses of what to expect here and there throughout the story, but Redick certainly delivers when we finally set foot on the new land at the end of the story – what a way to conclude this part of the story!
I really did enjoy the way the story continued here and I’m looking forward to see where book 3 takes us. This is one series that I’m thoroughly enjoying!