Review: Good Company (The Fifth Ward #3) by Dale Lucas

Rating: ★★★★☆-

Synopsis

The third book in a rollicking fantasy series where the grit of grimdark meets a police procedural, and it’s up to two watchmen to protect the streets of one of fantasy’s most dangerous cities.

Yenara is a sprawling, dirty city. Filled to bursting with heroes questing, mages testing out spells, thieves around every corner, elves judging everyone, dwarves hating everyone, orcs fighting everyone, and humans being typical humans. Enter Rem and Torval: one a human, the other a dwarf, and both working as Watchwardens.

Now, they must escort a notorious thief through a dangerous forest to the nearby city from where the thief escaped. But the thief’s companions are waiting, and the soldiers Rem and Torval travel with might not be so honorable.

Review

Thanks to Hachette Audio, the publisher, and the author for an advanced listening copy of Good Company (The Fifth Ward #3) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ALC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

Can we all agree that Simon Vance is a stupendous audiobook narrator? He has several hundred audiobooks to his name, which should just go to show that he is simply one of the best. He is in my top five (5) of all-time with Jim Dale, Colin Mace, Tim Gerard Reynolds, and Joe Jameson. Anytime those names are tied to a book, the audio goes straight into the wishlist on Audible or Libro.fm.

This series is like Training Day meets Bright. Good Company adds a dash of Robin Hood and The Hobbit to that mixture to make something truly original.

As far as the book is concerned, Good Company takes a well deserved break from the elf/mage/dwarf/orc population of Yenara and takes the show on the road. Gone are the crowded streets full of thieves, dealers, and brawlers, but the woods mask a more impressive crew of mercs that use the camouflage and open space to their decisive advantage. On top of that, some in Rem and Torval’s midst may not be so keen to see this party make it to the other side.

I have been a fan of Lucas’s writing since Book 1, especially his creation of the seemingly oil & water mixture that is the duo of Rem and Torval. It is sort of like watching The Other Guys with Ferrell and Wahlberg, but now as a continuation of their partnership rather than the rocky beginnings. They have grown quite fond of one another and their comfort level is close enough to a friendship as possible. I also enjoyed our antagonist this go round, especially with the unexpected twists and turns that came with the journey through the woods.

While the dialogue, characters, and fight scenes kept Good Company rolling along, the world-building took somewhat of a backstep as the focus was on the party rather than the environment. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but I did enjoy the build-up of Yenara and its outskirts in the previous novels so I was a tad bummed that it didn’t continue. Focusing on the little things can wreck a read, so thankfully, I didn’t let it bother me.

All in all, I enjoyed Good Company about as much as the first two (2) installations to the series. I can only assume Lucas is going to continue writing more in this series, and I hope that is true as I am not ready to end my relationship with Rem and Torval just yet.

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