Book Review: Unicorn Precinct by: Keith R.A. DeCandido

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Dark Quest Books

Publish Date: July 29, 2011

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Trade Paperback

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Humans and elves, dwarves and gnomes, wizards and warriors all live and do business in the thriving, overcrowded port city of Cliff's End, to say nothing of the tourists and travelers who arrive by land and sea, passing through the metropolis on matters of business or pleasure-or on quests. The hard-working, under-appreciated officers of the Cliff's End Castle Guard work day and night to maintain law and order as best they can. Arra Cynnis is the youngest child in one of the most powerful families in the wealthy district of Unicorn Precinct. When she's found murdered, with the culprit's identity hidden from the magical examiner’s spells, the Captain of the Guard sends his best investigators. Ex-soldier Torin ban Wyvald and half-elf Danthres Tresyllione have two viable suspects: Arra's fiancĂ©, who is the cousin of another member of the Castle Guard, or the unknown person with whom Arra was having a torrid affair. Torin and Danthres must navigate the difficult political waters of Cliff's End's upper classes in an attempt to determine the girl's killer. Complicating the case is the unexpected appearance of Torin's estranged father, who has come to return the detective to his far-off homeland of Myverin, and he won't take no for an answer. At last, an all-new adventure of the Cliff's End Castle Guard!

Review: Castle Guard Detectives Danthres Tresyllione and Torin ban Wyvald are back for their second adventure in ‘Unicorn Precinct’. When the youngest daughter of a very influential Cliff’s End family is murdered, they’re on the case. Yet, as usual, things are not always as they seem and when Torin’s father comes to take him home, it brings out a very different side of Torin – which may not help their investigation.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series (‘Dragon Precinct’) and ‘Unicorn Precinct’ is a worthy successor. Danthres and Torin have a great partnership, where each has strengths which complement each other. The murder mystery was tangled up in magic, which means the Brotherhood, which is never a good thing. I also liked seeing a different side of Grovis, who is such a prig, and learning about his family. Throwing Torin’s father into the mix created an interesting dynamic and personality change in Torin. It was good to see Danthres has ‘softer’ side which can counter Torin’s gruff attitude, which is not her normal mode. Fun and fantastical with a good mystery, ‘Unicorn Precinct’ is a delightful novel!

Series: Dragon Precinct (1), Unicorn Precinct (2), Goblin Precinct (3)


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