Jethro Daunt, the premeire consulting detective of his age, along with Boxiron, his robot Watson, go to the Isle of Jago to solve the murder of the Archbishop, a woman to whom Daunt was betrothed to before he left the clergy. The Archbishop's ward, Hannah Conquest, has been conscripted to the Guild of Valvemen in the wake of her death. But what was the Archbishop murdered to protect?
Secrets of the Firesea was worth the wait. The plot has a lot more twists and turns than I originally thought, as it seemed very cut and dry at the beginning. Commodore Black continues to be my favorite of the Hunt supporting cast. Hannah Conquest was a little bland for my tastes but Black and Jethro Daunt made up for it. The writing had a taste of Wodehouse, much like the earlier books. I smiled every time Ortin urs Ortin called someone "old fruit." Jago was a well-realized setting and I liked how the Ursine faith was tied to what actually happened on Jago in the past. The ab-locks and ursks were interesting, as Hunt's monsters usually are. The revelation of what actually happened and the ordeal that ensues were awesome.
Why only four stars? While I liked Secrets of the Firesea, it wasn't my favorite of the Hunt books. The pace was slower and everything took place in one locale and I thought too much focused on code breaking and aspects of the Circlist religion. Other than that, I thought it was great.