Ferran’s Map (The Cat’s Eye Chronicles #4) by T.L. Shreffler (2015)
YA/NA Fiction | Dark Fantasy
“The bloodmage Volcrian is dead, but a new enemy lurks in the shadows. The Shade, a fanatical cult of demonic assassins, is trying to resurrect the Dark God and unleash His power back into the world. In their wake, a deadly plague is spreading across the land.
Sora and her companions are the only ones who know of the plague’s true source. As the disease spreads, Sora must journey to the City of Crowns to retrieve The Book of the Named, her only hope of stopping The Shade. She and her companions arrive just in time for the winter solstice festival, a notorious two-weeks of fine wines, grand parties and legendary debauchery. Sora must don the guise of a noblewoman and infiltrate the First Tier nobility to stop The Shade before it’s too late.
Meanwhile, the assassin Crash is confronted by a ghost from his past. As he uncovers more of the Shade’s plot, he finds himself face-to-face with his old Grandmaster, the one who both trained and betrayed him. Can Crash lay to rest his past, or will he succumb to his inner demon and rejoin the man who once made him a killer?”
pooled ink Review:
I am officially breathlessly awaiting the final installment of this series. I can already sense that the final book will be one epic showdown and I simply must know what becomes of everyone.
So this book begins the third leg of their journey as they sail away from the defeat of Volcrian and head towards the City of Crowns in search of the Shade. In other words, they have bigger fish to fry.
The plague continues to spread and tensions continue to arise aboard the Dawn Seeker, which is of little surprise since a) there’s only so much to do on a pirate ship and b) everyone hates the Sixth Race without having to be stuck on a boat with one. Throughout this book Crash/Viper’s loyalties are constantly called into question from all sides as actions and prejudices collide in the shadows of the Shade. Honestly though, I’m not sure if I’m just stubborn or what but I never fell for Crash’s betrayal (although to be fair Crash’s POV sections keep any real roots of suspicion at bay).
Loads of stuff happens in this fourth installment of The Cat’s Eye Chronicles. Crash is strongly tested and has to fight his demon harder than ever (although I will say that his demon is a very intriguing character, particularly towards the end). Sora works with Ferran as she must learn to reconnect with her Cat’s Eye if she ever hopes to control and wield it as seamlessly as Ferran does. Caprion seems to find his place amongst the crew oriented firmly by his vow as a Seraph (which by the end takes him in a very interesting direction). And we also get to learn more about both Lori and Ferran’s pasts.
The plot revolves heavily around the Shade with its twisted demonic cultish ways and takes place in the City of Crowns. It’s funny because so much has happened since Sora’s Blooming in book one that it’s incredibly easy to forget about Sora’s whole noble life before taking to the road with two Wolfies and an assassin. But at last we return. We get to revisit the class of Sora’s upbringing and learn more about that path not taken. We also get to find (guess who!) Lily, Sora’s handmaiden, as well as learn more about Lord Fallcrest’s assassination and what became of everything since.
Each book has brought an exciting change of setting and this one is no different, this time we explore the human realm more deeply, the Top Tier to be precise. Filled with large manors, mountains of wealth, impractical dresses, the two-week winter festivities, and the stiff decorum of The Regency, we temporarily toss aside the dusty rags of their hard travels and step into the plush world of snobbish humanity. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of action, suspense, and bloody danger throughout.
Ferran’s Map is only the start to the final battle but exudes promise and adventure in its own right. Filled with betrayal and danger laced with gold the series races closer to conclusion still with no pause for rest. The darkness may have reached impossible heights but all it takes is one well-aimed stone to topple the enemy and if one can be sure of anything it is that this crew will stop at nothing until either they or Cerastes is dead.
Purchase here: Ferran’s Map