is the fifth book in this series.
Each book has grown in emotional depth, which I'm actually a bit grumpy about, since I really liked the wild adventure quick moves of the first book about Seregil and his companion Alec. My mind is still set for a fun caper story, but the themes and events push away from that simplicity. This one has them dealing with the effects of the slavery from the previous books, with added assassins and genocidal types to keep things grim.
However, my main problem is an issue of my own. In the original stories, Alec was a very young man who teamed up with the much older Seregil through some misadventures (caper stuff!). As the books developed, they became romantically involved. I have the same distaste for this as I do for Tamora Pierce's pairing between Daine and her much older tutor -- I don't like guardian/ward bonds, especially when the guardian is the main figure in the youth's life. The power imbalance makes it icky. If I want to keep reading these, I should probably go back and skim the earlier ones to see it develop; my blind spot for these relationships is huge, and the books are old enough that gay couples are rare, which didn't help. C+