The Red Wolf Conspiracy was the fantasy book that inspired me to finish a significant number of the outstanding series I had started so that I could get around to reading and enjoying this book. The premise is complex. The Chathrand is an ancient, massive warship, the last of its kind. It is sent on a mission of peace from the Arquali empire to the Mzithrin, carrying on-board an ambassador, his mistress and his daughter, Thasha, who is promised in marriage to the Mzithrin ruler. Also aboard is Pazel, a teenaged boy with a magical ability to understand every language he hears. Sometimes. The captain of the ship sees ghosts everywhere, there are 8-inch tall warriors stowing away and one rat who is shocked to realize that he has a mind of his own. All these characters (and more!) come warily together on-board the Chathrand, unsure of who is friend and who is foe and what may really happen on a ship of such massive proportions and on such a difficult journey.
If you don't like epic fantasy, it is very unlikely that you will enjoy this book. It is exactly the sort of book I wanted to sink my teeth into, and perhaps it was one of those cases of the right book at the right time. I loved the characters, I loved the intricate plotting, and I loved the detailed world created in the story. Yes, there were flaws and the story at times dragged, but overall I was completely enamored with the book and really look forward to its sequel (this is the first book in a series of four).
PS- This is a book that takes place mostly on a ship, but luckily, there wasn't too much "ship-ish" language for me to wade through, and I thoroughly enjoyed the setting in this instance!