Rockslide - more conflict among the Street Rats of Aramoor
The last book ended with a large amount of chaos and now Ayrion finds himself trying to care for those that have been banished by the street rat tribes. These kids have no place else to go and no one to look out for them, so naturally Ayrion attempts to fill the void. But first things first, Ayrion must deal with those who betrayed him and that means the head of the Hurricane tribe needs to go. As a trained assassin, Ayrion has the skills to make someone disappear, even someone as well guarded as a tribe leader. Of course that will only make life harder for everyone as the balance of power amongst the five tribes relies on the fact that an odd number of votes in Guild meetings never results in a tie, but a missing leader means no vote for that tribe and gridlock. When matters can't be decided in the Guild meetings then tribes are essentially free to do as they will and Ayrion's outcasts are going to suffer even more. So once again the responsibility falls on Ayrion to find a solution.
The other street rat characters are starting to get some depth to them and overall it results some interesting dynamics that keep the story entertaining. The stakes get bigger as the book moves along and it is hard not to root for Ayrion for succeed since his heart is always in the right place. Reevie and Sapphire form the rest of the leadership for the outcasts and each of them uses their unique skills to try to do the impossible and end the bullying experienced by their followers. Ayrion's ability to infiltrate the domains of the rich allow him to unintentionally meet some people of power and the story expands beyond just the street rats to the true power players of Aramoor. I commented in my review of the prior book that the structure of the street rat tribes felt artificial but I have accepted it for what it is and moved on, thus I was able to go along for the wild ride and enjoy the story. I still feel that Ayrion is a bit too much of a pacifist for a trained assassin but I am enjoying his coming of age story nonetheless. This series is a prequel to the Aldoran Chronicles and now I am torn between waiting for the next book in this series or jumping into the future to spend more time in Michael Wisehart's world.
Tim Gerard Reynolds continues his masterful narration of the audiobooks and as usual his performance just makes the experience better.