Rating: 4 out of 5
The second volume in this three-part series is slightly odd. I hope that the author, Mr Feist, knows where he wants to go with this because otherwise there will be a fair few unresolved topics by the end of this series.
The most troublesome of these for me, and for the characters in the book, is the motive behind the behaviour of the “fourth player” as they start to be called in this volume. Everything that happens seems to be a mighty big setup for a ‘final’ battle sort of scene, but given that the lead-in to this is illogical (for me and for the characters), and it is likely the “good guys” win, this must be reasoned very well to be likely because the “bad guys” could have easily won before allowing the “good” the time they needed to rebuild their defences. I don’t know how this will continue, and it is possible the author can reason the story well enough from everyone’s perspective that these actions make sense. Up until that point, I’ll have my reservations — but that’s a question primarily for the next book.
I did enjoy the story here overall: all of our characters progressed, though some more than others. Declan’s line is clearly making a turn and the final result is not yet obvious to me, but some options do come to mind. Hatu and Hava were the prime characters here, however, and of these I liked Hava better who comes into her own and becomes potentially the most enjoyable character to follow. This also means she manages to step away from the shadow of The Hidden who no longer play any real role in this book (though I suspect they will come back in the third instalment). The final twists, including the name of the book, all relate to her storyline, and with respect to what she manages (from the start of the book to the end) she is bolder and more daring than the other characters.
Yet, as I said, the story is good and I went through it quickly: Mr Feist’s style is simple but enjoyable. I’m waiting to pick up the third book…