Sweep in Peace is the second book in the Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews. Like the first book (Clean Sweep), Sweep In Peace was first released chapter by chapter on the author’s webpage for free, and later released as a paperback. It’s mostly an Urban Fantasy book with a touch of science fiction.
Dina Demille runs a magical inn that hosts guests from around the galaxy, while trying to keep her crazy world a secret from humanity. It’s a fun concept of a book with a fair amount of humour, some great fantastical politics and a number of interesting characters. Her inn has a life and personality of its own, and will grow stronger with more guests. Too bad it’s struggling for the most part, having been recovering since it was abandoned years ago by its previous innkeeper.
When the opportunity arises to host a peace conference between three warring factions, Dina almost has no choice but to accept. The story leads to some deep yet interesting intergalactic politics between a race of vampires, a clan-based warrior culture and the sneaky and often greedy merchants. There are a couple times where someone like me who is terrible with names may find it difficult to keep track of who is who, but at least the names within each faction sound similar enough to keep track of who is on whose side. In the end, every named character contributes something to the plot. There is one line that I found a bit odd though.
“I feel the way business travelers from Canada might feel about an overnight trip to Miami in the middle of February. They would ride in a taxi, see the beach outside their window, knowing they wouldn’t get the chance to visit it, and wonder what it would be like to walk on the sand and feel the waves on their feet.”
I could see this being an effective line to someone that doesn’t know anything about Canada. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be the character’s own ignorance or an unintentional oversight by Andrews’ part, but Canada has plenty of beaches. From where I live in the middle of South Western Ontario, I could reach at least 7 different public beaches within 2 hours, including Sable Beach, Lake Ontario in Toronto, Grand Bend (pretty much a beach town) and a couple artificial beaches. There’s even a neighborhood in Toronto called the Beaches area. That’s not to mention that Canada has the largest unbroken coastline in the entire world (even if most of it’s in the arctic), we have more freshwater than any other country in the world (even if a lot of it is inland glaciers and arctic snow), and some of our beaches are south of Detroit. And then there’s Kelowna BC, a medium-sized town with a huge lake right in the middle of it. Canada numerically has more than 50 percent of the world’s lakes (our country only counts lakes with a surface area of at least 3km, vs. Finland’s much looser definition); some are even yet to be explored.
Maybe I went on a bit too long on this point, but it’s hard to talk too much about this book without spoiling something so I felt like going on a tangent about Canada’s water. The line didn’t really bother me – it just made me laugh.
Sweep In Peace is a fairly quick read at just over 300 pages long. It’s not what I would call a great book, and I would sooner recommend the Kate Daniels series if you want an introduction to Andrews’ work, but fans of Kate Daniels will probably enjoy this. I can’t comment on her other works since I haven’t read them (yet). To anyone else, if the concept of this book sounds like fun, check it out. Also, the third book in the Innkeeper Chronicles series is up to chapter 10 on this website.