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Friday, February 8, 2013

The Dog In The Dark by Barb & J.C. Hendee

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Terrance McArthur

The Dog in the Dark: a novel of the Noble Dead is the 11th in the series by Barb & J. C. Hendee, or the second book in the third series, depending on how you want to look at it. Sounds confusing? Just wait.

The series (or series-es) has a rabid following, as it combines so many genres: sword-and-sorcery, pre-techno-thriller, High Elven fantasy, vampires, and conspiracy adventure. Magiere has a slight problem in keeping her vampire half in check; get her upset, and the fangs spring out, accompanied by bloodlust. Her part-elven husband Leesil (or Léshil, or a very long mish-mosh of letters) stands by her, along with the Fay-in-wolf’s-clothing they call Chap. Tagging along, dragged along, or just there is the mostly-elven girl everyone calls Leânalhâm (the authors frequently refer to her as “the girl everyone calls Leânalhâm”), and Brot’ân’duivé (mercifully, he is usually referred to as Brot’ân)—which translates as “Dog in the Dark”—an elven assassin with his own agenda.

Image source: Roc

They are in search of the next in a series of “orbs” that were weapons for an Ancient Enemy who might be returning for them. They don’t find any of them in this book, but we hear all about the ones they already found...boy, do we ever.

The book is told from many points of view, including the other elven assassins after Magiere, Leesil, and (for various reasons) Brot’ân. This creates a degree of mental whiplash as the story bounces from teller to teller. On top of that, most of the book is told in flashback, when one character, triggered by an event, thinks about something that had happened in the past, or another character peers into the mind of another who is remembering an event…or when they take turns telling parts of a story.

Some people will read this book and say, “What masterful control of the use of point of view!” Others will say, “If they had just told the story without all the sidebars, they could have cut a 450-page book down to 200.” Someone might even say, “Who’s on First? I Don’t Know, he’s on third, and I don’t give a Darn!”

The Dog in the Dark
is inventive, exciting, and as well-choreographed as a martial arts film; you can practically see the footwork. Magiere and her friends (and her enemies) make good company and good reading.

To enter to win a copy of The Dog In The Dark, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Dog”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 16, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Use this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL:

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He lives in Sanger, four blocks from the library, with his wife, his daughter, and a spinster cat.


  1. I would be so thrilled to win a copy of THE DOG IN THE DARK.

    I’ve been following Barb and J. C. Hendee’s The Noble Dead series from the beginning and definitely would love the next book.

    Thanks so much,
    Amy Harlib

  2. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher