Secret Riven is no longer advertising her magical powers. Instead she has become somewhat of a self-educated scholar who works as an archivist in the magnate Fewmany’s offices. This is not your local library, but rooms and rooms of books in every possible subject, including books and objects to do with magic, sorcery, legends, myths, etc. The formerly very close relationship between Secret and Nicholas the Prince has changed with their separation, something Secret doesn’t realize until they meet again well into the novel.
The story herein grows at a sedate pace in which the reader grows to share Secret’s love for animals, plants, and nature wherever they are found. Little by little, the reader finds that Fewmany has a purpose in befriending Secret, although she doesn’t really figure that out until much later. Meanwhile, Fewmany seems to be trying to broaden Secret’s horizons, inviting her to dinners, etc. at which some guests and scenes frighten Secret. These pages are replete with weird costumes, animals and figures with strange powers, and strange events. One gets to know many of the main characters in the government. The author does a marvelous job in stretching all of this out in an intriguing way so that the reader doesn’t really mind that the crux of the quest isn’t revealed immediately.
The Old Woman who was introduced in the first novel of this series, a new character Harmyn, Nicholas and Secret eventually will try to discover the connection between a certain symbol in an ancient manuscript and other symbols available elsewhere. No spoilers here, but it all ties together eventually. In the process, Secret Riven becomes aware that her repressed gifts of connection to nature and languages can be used maturely when appropriate.
This reviewer appreciates this final version of the Keeper of the Tales Trilogy as well-written, even though it is a stand-alone novel, and highly recommended to readers who love a good mystery with paranormal features, friendship, loyalty and engaging quests.