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Echoes of Betrayal: Paladin's Legacy #3    by Elizabeth Moon order for
Echoes of Betrayal
by Elizabeth Moon
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Echoes of Betrayal follows Oath of Fealty and Kings of the North as the third in Elizabeth Moon's Paladin's Legacy series, set in the rich fantasy world of Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter (introduced in Deed of Paksenarrion). Now a paladin, Paks shows up rarely (but is mentioned often) in the new series.

Those close to Paks in her early adventures are achieving great things. Half elven Kieri Phelan, once captain of the mercenary Fox Company, is co-ruler (along with his fully elven grandmother) of Lyonya. In Kings of the North, Kieri defended his kingdom against an attack from neighboring Pargunese, initiated by the evil Weaver. Kieri's half-elven Squire Arian played a key role, with help from an elder dragon that can take a man's shape.

As Echoes of Betrayal opens, Arian and Kieri plan their wedding. Kieri mops up the Pargunese invasion, but still has questions about his grandmother's unexplained absences. And ghosts continue to warn Kieri and Arian of treachery and immediate danger. When it strikes, it hits hard, close to their hearts, and a new, extremely powerful enemy is revealed.

In Tsaia, King Mikeli does not fully trust Dorrin Verrakai, though he has made her a Duke and the kingdom's Constable. Her surviving Verrakaien magelord relatives are still causing trouble. This time two of her squires are attacked. Daryan is terribly injured, perhaps permanently maimed. And the king's nephew, Beclan, comes under suspicion of hosting a Verrakaien magelord - he has a rough coming of age in this episode.

Arvid Semminson, the thief who aided Paksenarrion, gained gnome Dattur as an ally in Kings of the North. Now both have been captured by Valdaire's Guildmaster and taken out of the city for torture and death. They escape with Gird's help, and return to the city in disguise. There, they lay low until Arvid stumbles upon a plot, and finds himself in charge of a surprising young ward.

And Jandelir Arcolin, Fox Company's commander, is concerned for the future of blinded veteran Sergeant Stammel - until the dragon shows up with an unusual proposal. Echoes of Betrayal continues to move forward the saga, and its key characters, on all fronts. Fortunately it looks like this excellent series will include many more episodes - my son and I are both totally hooked and anxious for more. Highly recommended!

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