The more I think about this one, the more I liked it. Rockwell takes some creative risks with the structure and the main characters that mostly pays off. This is a fantasy and mystery novel that rises above expectations.
'Legacy' opens on a dark street in the city of Aruldusk in Thrane, where the bard Zoden and his twin brother are wandering home after a late night. The recent spate of murders are discussed and ultimately they are attacked by...something. Zoden escapes with the cries of his dying brother in his ears.
Zoden's family is nobility and on that strength he petitions the Queen of Thrane for aid. Many being murdered are supporters of the royal family over the theocracy that has ruled Thrane for almost a hundred years. The blaming of the deaths on the shifter community seems racially motivated as well. After some political maneuvering the Queen sets the bard up with a Dwarven inquisitive, Greddark.
Meanwhile, Irulan Silverclaw has come to Thrane's capitol with her own petition. She wants her brother freed from prison. Javi is one of the shifters imprisoned on charges of murdering the royalists (Throneholders) on circumstantial evidence. Through chance she gains the favor of the Keeper (the leader of the Church of the Silver Flame) and is partnered with Andri, a paladin with a dark, broody history.
The two storylines converge and there are false leads and a lot of wheels turning in the background. Rockwell exploits to great effect the turbulent history of Thrane, religious persecution, and the Dragonmarked houses to create background to the story. All four main characters are distinct and well developed.
Ultimately there was only one flat note: the 'surprise' reveal of the murderer wasn't that surprising. But, this is a licensed novel and the creativity on display here while following the 'rules' of the Eberron setting was refreshing and entertaining.
Next: 'The Darkwood Mask'
Previous: 'Night of Long Shadows'