The third (and last) Beka Cooper book is another shift in characters and tone. This time two years have passed, which is enough time for her to meet someone new, get involved, for it to go sour, and for him to get killed.

So one of the themes of the book is dealing with a relationship that has died a painful death. It doesn’t spend a lot of time on this, but it is there.

This time, the mission takes her over most of Tortall, and the book is very much a journey in the physical sense. Mentally, less so, though as with nearly any story, there is some introspection. By this point, the use of language is down to alternate vocabulary, and has lost all the annoying bits from the first book. It felt longer than the previous book, but that’s probably just the fact that it takes place over weeks instead of days, and of course there’s a lot more secondary characters as they go through various towns.

There’s technically no reason why there couldn’t be more books after this, but it’s stated that there will be no more journals after this (in the in-story conceit of these being her old journals being read by her descendant centuries later). And admittedly, this is about as big of a case as there can be, with conspiracy, treason, and a lot of magic in use. Beka obviously goes on to more adventures, but this is an obvious climax to her career, and a fittingly good final novel.