The Dragon Lords: Bad Faith is divided into 3 parts, and is itself part 3 of a trilogy. I rather enjoyed part 1 (Fools Gold), hated part 2 (False Idols), and part 3 was kind of meh. It wasn’t as bad as part 2 with no one to root for, and it added some good characterization and a few new characters, but it was also 200 pages too long. The second part of the book is ironically yet appropriately titled “Bad Decisions”, one of which IMHO was to include this section in the final published novel.
Part 1, “Bad Luck” introduces you to the underworld “The Hollows”, where the heroes had all been sent at the end of the previous volume. It’s an interesting addition to the overall world of the story, and the escape plan was intriguing to watch. Part 3, “Bad Mofos”, covers the final desperate attempt and showdown with the villain, Barph, who Parts 2 and 3 try to make sympathetic by giving him some emotional backstory, but by this point it’s just not worth it. Part 2 is mostly pointless handwringing and many failed attempts at destroying Barph. Quite a few people die, including a few main characters, but as we’ve already seen, just because you die in this world, doesn’t always mean you stay that way. One of the interesting things about part 2 was the introduction of other Analesians, Balur the lizardman’s folk. Since Balur himself had been inexplicably hooking up with the former god/dess Coise for most of the novel and gotten boring, this was a welcome distraction, as was the momentary appearance of the Verran war pig. Even introducing the last surviving dragons as untrustworthy allies wasn’t enough to salvage the loss of personality undergone by Quirk, the sole main character two survive book 2.
Much of the novel consists of Will going back and forth between losing his humanity to a bit of primeval god he ingested and feeling terribly guilty about getting a lot of people killed during harebrained schemes to defeat Barph, most of which consist of randomly trying to attack somewhere that might be meaningful to their adversary. Lette is relegated to supportive girlfriend, which is a sad thing to see given how kick-ass and independent she was in the first novel.
Parts 1 and 3 were ok; not as bad as book 2, but not as fun as book 1. Part 2 killed the series for me, both in terms of series and in terms of section of book 3.