Plot: Jathen has to get home, but only after fulfilling his promise to Ass’shiri and informing his blood-brother’s family what has befallen him. Accompanied by Izzy and Orne – a girl and her golem who are happy to accept his silence – Jathen sets off.
But making it home is no easy task. Jathen must learn what he is capable of as the lost city of Dodbyen and unknown relatives are relying on him to save them. With Ass’ ghost guiding him, Jathen fights to fulfil his promise. There is the added issue of learning what the Grand Artifact wants from him…
Quote: `He wasn’t the same as Hatori, but he’d ruffled Jathen’s hair, grinned at him, trusted him and called him nephew. Jathen had been helpless to save the one true father of his heart, but he would not sit idly by and lose another. Not when he could try.`
Opinion: My levels of excitement for this book were off the scale. It is perhaps the most enthusiastic I’ve been about a new book for a long time, although I was concerned about my emotional state after Way Walkers: Tangled Paths broke my heart several times! Luckily, this one made me laugh just as much but it reduced me to tears only the once. I can recommend it with a clear conscience that you won’t be an emotional mess afterwards.
The tension and pacing in this book was as strong as the first, but the plot wasn’t as complicated. Not having to be introduced to the world and the characters drove the plot forward a lot faster, but that was only to be expected from the second in a series. But rather than several plot lines twisting together simultaneously, there were two clear sections: Jathen in the city of Dodbyen and all that it entailed and then his adventures back on the ground.
The new characters were engaging in their own right. While no one can ever replace Ass’shiri in my mind, Izzy was a worthwhile companion who could deal with Jathen – both his brooding and his moments of wit. Her loyalty and determination made her an extremely approachable character. Marcasith also created a lot of empathy – he provided the father-figure and believer that Jathen so desperately needs. He did, however, have a depth and past to his character that made the reader like him for him rather than just what he offered Jathen. One final character worth mentioning is Seren – talk about character development! Let’s just say I can’t wait to see what she does next!
When you’re trying to turn the page quicker than possible, you know you have a book that has captured your heart and imagination. It has all the elements you can want from a good fantasy novel! When the final line (not including the epilogue) opens up a whole barrage of new questions about Jathen, you know it’s going to feel like a long wait until the next book!
A very firm recommendation from here!