At this halfway point, I find that not unlike the first novel in the Witchwood Series, the sequel is going in directions I didn’t expect. A lot.
There are new villains. They don’t listen to me any better than the old one. And of course, though he is not the key antagonist, Jaydeun has reprized his role as a royal pain in the backside. I thought he was going to be moping about the battlements, but no. He apparently has some business of his own, north of the Bothy. In the meantime, a ring of fire has been cast–someone has found the ancient Spagyric Arts with all its complex equations–and Rannon has been separated from Sarah, the queen of serving maids (and the queen-to-be).
The Yeleve, too, seem to have ideas of their own in this sequel. Their labyrinthine Compound has always been a ponderous place. Its many turnings, shadowy and indistinct, make it impenetrable to outsiders; every corner affords shelter, every nook can conceal potential threats. A fortress with eyes and ears, secrets and mystery, where even sound carries strangely—fools the listener, or beguiles him to take a wrong turning, the Compound affords protection against the world above. But alas for Rannon and his brother Rayik, it is proving to be a nightmare.
Ezra and Alex are, of course, with us once more. It is their story–though I think they are as hurried, pinched, bothered and otherwise confounded as I am by the unexpected turn events have been taking. Why, they aren’t even traveling together! Ezra has decided (against better judgment and plain good sense) to follow the jackwolfe, Eurick. Alex did his best to follow her, but that’s hard to do with a thirty-pound full size mirror strapped to your back. And all the while, Saydell’s sociopath of a half-brother is wreaking havoc in his extremely proper, tidy and manipulative way.
Add to this a wet night, a cold bothy, a royal wedding and several improbable unions…season with sexual tension and a pinch of sheer bloody-mindedness. What do you get? Good question. Author or no, I have to wait on the crisis resolution like everyone else. Unfair, isn’t it? Exactly who is writing who, here?
But even so, I can’t wait to see where it ends.