Similar issues to the first book but better.
We start off pretty much where we left off in the last book. Jack and Melli are on the run again, Maybor and Baralis are heading off to Bren, and so are Tawl and Nabber. Most of the action in this book centers on Bren, except for Jack who gets involved with a mysterious family. Tavalisk is still in Rorn sensually eating food and tormenting his aide.
I still don’t know what to make of these books! I am definitely interested in them but they are so slow paced. That is not a problem in and of itself but there is not much growth of characters and it really doesn’t seem like much happens. Nearly all the action happens off screen except for a few moments. Maybe it’s because they are billed as epic fantasy whereas they are probably more low or political fantasy. Like if the much vaunted prophecy actually comes to pass it will create a new empire in one small part of the world, yes it would be bad for the people living there but it is definitely not the end of the world type of event.
Jack is one of the most annoying main characters I have ever come across, though Melli is not far behind. He is constantly being helped out by people, given things but learns absolutely nothing and just bungles his way from one dire situation to another. Melli is practically the same but I have some more sympathy for her, though that evaporated towards the end of the book. The villains are best, and some of the other random POV’s we get. Yes they are pretty caricaturesque but I still enjoy reading about them, Maybor is actually growing on me. They have almost a tongue in cheek villainous to them which actually makes them interesting to read about. Nabber is probably the only actual nice person in the book and he is a thief!
If this book wasn’t written by a woman I would also wonder if the author was slightly misogynistic. Pretty much all the women in the book are tavern wenches or maids who are willing to sleep with anybody for a bit of money. All the men have no problem with hitting women, Jack raises his hand to a girl because she angers him and Tawl our white knight actually slaps one. We won’t talk about the villains. Now it could be the author trying to show a very chauvinist world but it could be off putting for some people.
Like the previous book even though I have quite a few issues with it I am enjoying the series overall, it could be the author’s writing even though nothing has stood out for me but I do tend to miss such things. Looking forward to the final volume and hopefully things might start happening.
3.5 stars rounded down