The Poisoned Quarrel: The Complete Edition

Written by: Duncan Lay

Published By: Momentum Books

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                After reading the first two novels in The Arbalester Trilogy, I couldnít wait to read the final book in the series, The Poisoned Quarrel.  Duncan Lay has invested me in the characters of Fallon and his wife Bridgit and their fight to keep Gaelland a free land.  As soon as I heard that The Poisoned Quarrel was available to read on Netgalley, I pounced on the chance, but time constraints have kept me from reading it until now.

                When we last left Fallon and Bridgit, they had finally been reunited.  The evil, Zorva worshipping Prince Swane had been run out of Berry and King Aiden hanged for his crimes against the people.  A battle against the invading army of Kottermani had been won and Prince Kamal and many of his soldiers captured.  It is now up to Fallon, his wife and his friends to pick up the pieces and rebuild.

                Though they have won the battle, Fallon knows that the war is far from over.  Prince Swane is still out there, aided by their enemy, the treacherous Dina, Duchess of Lunster.  Also looming in the distance is the fact that Prince Kamalís people would be planning a much larger invasion after winter.  Fallon knows he needs a bigger army, but he also knows that he needs to prepare for winter. 

Many of the local communities are still being held under the thumbs of merchants of the old regime and Fallon has vowed to get rid of them in an attempt to carry out Prince Cavanís dream for Gaelland.  Fallon still feels guilty over Cavanís death and there is a part of him that believes the final words uttered to him by King Aiden of the destruction his decisions will bring upon Gaelland.  After all, his friends have never been the same since the war with the Kottermani.  Suffering from PTSD, Brendon will not give up his hammer, nor his hot temper, Devlin wonít stop making jokes even in the most serious of times and Fallonís son is obsessed with protecting his family.

Meanwhile, Bridgit, also a changed woman since her ordeal, wonders if Fallon is capable of ruling Gaelland alone.  Her friends think she should take over, while she struggles between wanting to support his decision and wanting to strangle him.  Far across the ocean, Prince Kamalís wife is thinking very similarly.  Her return home is anything but what she expected, especially once visitors from Gaelland arrive and begin to sway others to their way of thinking.  Will she ever be able to save her husband and, if so, how could she ever hope to turn him toward her way of thinking?

The suspense in The Poisoned Quarrel is amazing!  Each time you think that maybe your favorite heroes have finally overcome the odds, yet another challenge awaits them.  The battles are action filled and quite bloody Ė not for the faint of heart.  And the intrigue Ė the multiple bad guys conniving against each other with alliances formed only to be destroyed once greed takes over.  I love that Duncan Lay is not just content to tell an entertaining story, but that he laces in learning moments for his main characters, forcing them to see the good and bad in themselves and offering an opportunity to change for the better. 

The entire Arbalester Trilogy is well-worth reading Ė an exciting venture into fantasy and action that will captivate you from the first page to the last Ė and The Poisoned Quarrel was a terrific way to round out the trilogy, bringing every storyline to a close in a way that will satisfy every fan of the series. 


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