Much like the first in the trilogy, this second book featuring Alec and Seregil is fairly typical fantasy. We have the ultimate good and the ultimate evil, there aren’t shades of gray in this novel, like there are in her second trilogy. Personally I hope that changes a bit in the third installment. There is some romance and more suspense, more plot threads. It took me a while to figure out why Beka was figured so prominently, but I did eventually. Flewelling’s writing could improve a bit, but mostly has improved over the first, and this is only her second novel, after all.
It felt plodding at times even when the action was moving, mainly in the first half when we’re not sure what’s going on. In the second half, the pace picks up and I tore through it in one night. The characters are not quite realistic; they’re too polarized in good or evil and I had a hard time feeling sorry for them even when things got tough. The only one who wasn’t solid good or solid evil is Thero. I enjoyed his character, and I’m hoping he pops up in the third book.
I will definitely finish the trilogy, but I would again call this series fairly typical fantasy, doesn’t challenge much, but exists for fun.