A charming, short novella in the Innkeeper Chronicles, from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ilona Andrews. Thank you for joining us at Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, during the Treaty Stay. As you know, we are honor-bound to accept all guests during this oldest of innkeeper holidays and we are expecting a dangerous guest. Or several. But have no fear. Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your hosts, Dina Demille and Sean Evans, will defend you at all costs. [But we hope we don’t have to.]
Every winter, Innkeepers look forward to celebrating their own special holiday, which commemorates the ancient treaty that united the very first Inns and established the rules that protect them, their intergalactic guests, and the very unaware/oblivious people of [planet] Earth. By tradition, the Innkeepers welcomed three guests: a warrior, a sage, and a pilgrim, but during the holiday, Innkeepers must open their doors to anyone who seeks lodging. Anyone.
All Dina hopes is that the guests and conduct themselves in a polite manner. But what’s a holiday without at least one disaster?
“Sentient beings are spectacular liars. We are gifted with an unparalleled ability to deny things that make our life unpleasant. We even pretend death isn’t a certainty, because contemplating our own mortality drives us mad.”
This is a Christmas novella that takes place after book four, Sweep of the Blade. I’m not a major fan of novellas, I always feel like they are missing things. And I’m really not a fan of holiday stories, either. So that is two really big strikes against me liking Sweep With Me. I think what it set out to do was done well. I just can’t say I loved it.
It is Innkeeper Christmas, a holiday Innkeepers celebrate to remember why they do what they do. During this time, they are not allowed to refuse any guests. Dina’s Inn, Gertrude Hunt, is specialized to take on harder clients with more problems than most. As you might expect, a time when you cannot turn people away combined with difficult clients is an explosive combination.
The novella was mostly about Dina doing the tasks her guests needed her to do. In contrast to previous stories, nothing here is really life or death. There are the philosophy chickens who can’t help but try to kill each other all the time over differences in opinion. But mostly it was about this super mage that came from Earth and went away to train and live. I honestly really just didn’t care about either of these stories. There was also a member of Dina’s staff, her chef, going crazy for a TV chef. Which could in no way end well.
All of the stuff that happened in here was just, to me, filler. Which is what series novellas tend to be, which is why I typically don’t like them. It was at times amusing, at times entertaining, but also at times boring. I was here for two things with Sweep With Me. The first thing was Dina and Sean working together to run the Inn. Which was satisfactory. I could have wanted more, but what I got was fine.
The second reason I read this was because book three, One Fell Sweep, ended on a cliffhanger. Which was addressed in this. There was no chance for it to be taken care of in book four due to a narration switch. Because of Dina’s actions in book three, she has been called before the Innkeeper board to explain her actions. Which will happen this novella, for some reason. And I waited the entire novella for this to play out, and in the end I was just really disappointed.
Overall it was fun, and entertaining, I just didn’t love it.