Riveting Sequel from Christian Fantasy's Most Talented New Voice
When Sarin Valon, the corrupt secondus of the conclave, flees Erinon and the kingdom, Errol Stone believes his troubles have at last ended. But other forces bent on the destruction of the kingdom remain and conspire to accuse Errol and his friends of a conspiracy to usurp the throne.
In a bid to keep the three of them from the axe, Archbenefice Canon sends Martin and Luis to Errol's home village, Callowford, to discover what makes him so important to the kingdom. But Errol is also accused of consorting with spirits. Convicted, his punishment is a journey to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, where he must find Sarin Valon, and kill him. To enforce their sentence, Errol is placed under a compulsion, and he is driven to accomplish his task or die resisting.
Carr takes the somewhat unusual tack of offering no recap of A Cast of Stones, the first book in the trilogy, so readers will want to have it close at hand to make sense of this busy second volume. True to form, the story opens with a fight scene and sticks close to the formula of chase and battle, with somewhat more political maneuvering and somewhat less idiosyncratic, living detail than characterized Carr's debut. The adrenaline level remains high, without "middle book" doldrums in large part because the trilogy's overarching plot is neglected while protagonist Errol undertakes a secondary quest: tracking down the first book's villain, Sarin Valon. Errol is once again under compulsion, once again traveling with a merchant caravan, once again accompanied by Ru and Rokha and Rale... Despite the page-turning zest of the narrative, a sense of high-level stall colors the plot. There's a lot of activity, but nothing changes.
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a heros lot
the second book of this trilogy is even better than the first. it demonstrates a fine progression in both character development and maturity. the plot becomes increasingly complex as the author keeps the reader intrigued. it is spiritually uplifting and has somehow managed to avoid being saccharine.