A solid second book though there are issues.
Events continue almost directly where we left them at the end of the previous book. The hunt for Zandramas is on and more like The Belgariad, the team go on a long journey through various countries on the trail of her. Some familiar countries are explored until we start getting to new places.
So after spending the first series exploring the West, Eddings starts to explore other countries here, starting with Cthol Murgos. The beats are familiar though at least we get some (kind of) new characters in Toth, Liselle and Sadi. They add some freshness as the party as we are missing some old favourites.
Though I enjoy these books there are some uncomfortable stereotypes as I mentioned in the review of the previous book and it is very apparent here. The generic barbaric ‘Easterner’ is a feature of the series’ and it gets worse here as we explore their country. We finally spend some quality time with them and then it turns out that the most likeable person they meet is not actually quite what he seems and kind of reinforces the West is the Best narrative. The books are the products of their time somewhat, especially due to the age of the authors when they wrote them but it is still annoying and will probably bother others more.
This has probably my least favourite so far in that until the final half there is little new going on. The next book heads to Mallorea which I have always liked so I’m looking forward to moving to the next one.
3.5 stars rounded up