You will need to read the first two books in this series Chaos Born and Chaos Bound before reading this book as they really set up who Lora is, what she has discovered about herself and her powers as well as all of her relationships. Turner also does most of the world building in the first novel Chaos Born so a reader jumping into the third novel may not get the Applecross and the world that Turner has created.
In the third book (and possibly final???) novel in Rebekah Turner's Chronicles of Applecross series, Lora has been left in charge of the runners and everything goes to hell:
Lora Blackgoat does not want to be in charge, especially when she loses a lucrative contract (of no fault of her own I assure you) and the business is struggling to stay afloat. Lora is desperate to make money any way she can even if that means looking for a missing cat. Who knew a missing cat was going to turn into a murder scene of magic that Lora has never seen before and all hell is about to break loose in the city. There is a new headman coming to head up the Order of Guides where everyone who has ever practiced any magic can be sentenced to burn at the stake. Lora is trying to make sure she does not make it to the stake, find a murder and Oh Roman is back in town stirring up all kinds of trouble; Just another day in the life of Lora Blackgoat (the musical???).
I'm really not sure if this is the last book in this series or not, I personally hope that it is not as I still think that there are many questions that need to be answers after reading this book. Maybe this will be the last Applecross series and move into a different setting with the same characters, but I think that Turner needs to continue the series because I love Lora as a character, the ideas that Turner comes up with, the world she has built and her ability to balance the fantasy, fight scenes and romance within the book. It was interesting to see Turner bring in a little bit of real history into the book with the introduction of burning witches at the stake, without a trail, just needed someone to accuse a person that they had seen them performing some aspect of the dark witch craft and to the stake they went. This added Lora the need to be not only extra cautious but to watch her back as she is well known throughout the city for her witch craft.
Lora has grown up quite a bit since the first book to this book, she barley drinks in this book and I don’t think she attends one dice game, who is this person. At first I questioned if this our Lora Blackgoat from the first two books, but the more I think about it, Lora is still there in a lot her actions and verbiage/sarcasm, but the act of being responsible for the Runners has made her have to change, well that and Crowhurst helping to keep her in line. One of the things that I love about Lora is her unswerving loyalty to those that she cares about and willing to put herself front and centre to protect them.
My one criticism for the book is that I think that Turner attempted to do too much and had too many ideas for this book. Yes, Turner is able to bring everything together in the end, but at times it seemed like there was a little too much going on for Lora to handle and at times I found myself getting a little bit lost. There is the murderer using magic she has never seen before, Lora trying to keep the Runner business afloat, Roman and all the problems he brings to town and then the introduction of a new head to the Order of Guides which causes all sorts of problems. Let’s just say that more than once it seemed like Lora's head was spinning and in turn mine was as well, so maybe that is a sign of good writing as I was so in tune with that was going on with Lora, that I felt just as lost and confused as she did at times.
I think that this series keeps getting better and better the more books that Turner adds to this series, I'm not sure of anyone else who has read this book but I am personally excited for Lora Blackwood the musical. I know I would go see it. It says on Goodreads that this book is the final installment of the series, and I seriously questions that just based upon how this book ends and all the unanswered questions that I think that Turner has left open. This better not be the last book in this series as I really enjoy Lora and the world that Turner has created.