by Patricia Veryan
Upon finishing The Dedicated Villain, the last of the Golden Chronicles, I bumped my 3 star rating up to 4. I liked Fiona much better this go around and I now see her as a worthy match for Roly. Of all of the pairs throughout this series, I really believe that Fiona’s and Roly’s romance is the strongest. Their love and devotion for each other was the most fully realized. Patricia did right by Roly’s full reclamation.
I did find some parts to be too drawn out and tedious, but as soon as I started to consider speed-reading through, I would come to a good part that induced me to keep reading. This one did not have too many scenes of the rollicking humor that is in most of the previous books, but in fairness the stakes were too high. Although the action scenes were masterfully done, they were a bit long. Also I was very confused by the race across the Sands of Dee to take the treasure to the barge. Yet when they got back, the treasure was still on land in the caravans. I was like… Huh?! Apparently they only took half of it. I was not clear about this and I don’t think it was my fault. Some of the quieter scenes with Fiona and Roly did not hold my interest as much as some of the previous love stories. There was never any conflict between the two. Fiona worshipped the ground he walked on from the very beginning, and Roly was always respectful and fond of her. Conflict is a great source of humor, suspense, witty banter, and satisfying Ah Ha! Moments. One more quibble: During and after his recovery, Roly was a little too much of an angel. I could have done with a few signs of his former roguery. My goodness, he seemed to cry quite a bit! I am uncomfortable pitying my heroes.
Roly’s discovery and actions concerning William Bond and the list.
Thad Briley’s major role and his happy ending. Same with Robert MacTavish.
The scene at home in Wales with Rosamunde, Robert and company.
The referrals and reappearances of many, if not all, of our favorite characters from previous books.
Even Mariner Fotheringay! Kit and Leone Aynsworth!
The fact that Freemon Torrey mended his ways but did not turn into a hero. When I first started re-reading I thought I remembered him being an annoying jerk throughout and even involved in
Roland’s torture. Glad I was wrong.
I was moved to tears several times during Roly’s recovery at Dominer.
When and how Muffin learns the whole truth about his son. Although really, he should not have been so blind to evil Dudley’s treatment of his grandson.
The wedding scene and the descriptions of Roly’s white velvet suit trimmed in black and his diamond studded eyepatch. Ka-ching! One of the reasons I liked this description is that it showed Roly had regained some of his old dash and personality even though he was fully converted from villain to hero.
Regardless of some weak areas, as always, PV’s mastery of her characters, fights and action scenes, plotting, and how she weaves it all together throughout the series just fills me with awe. **4 out of 5 stars**
May 6, 2018