We begin where we left off in the first book, Tree of Bone and Mist, with Rhiannon in training to be Empress of Ventra and working at establishing herself as an authority figure. She has a hard slog ahead of her as she realises her feelings for Flath, a Suen with a mysterious past. He’s considered an enemy to her people from an age-long feud that Rhiannon wishes would end. Baobh is up to her old tricks, having found herself with child and still seeking to suck the kingdom of Beaynid dry. Hope is not lost, however, as the true heir to the Beaynid throne is still alive and out there for Rhiannon to find.
Luna and Zellan join Rhiannon once again on her journey, an adventure that sees Rhiannon grow as a character. Beckwith’s writing style remains much the same as the first book, so those who enjoyed the first will not be disappointed. However, the same can be said of the silly grammatical errors that seem to curse the Kindle version every 50 pages or so. The pace is still a whirlwind, but some important moments are lost from switching scenes. The length is very much the same, so it’s definitely a good book to take up between heavier reads, for the bibliophiles out there.
Of course, the problem with undertaking a series is the cliff-hanger endings that all authors seem to enjoy inflicting upon their readers. But fans of Beckwith are in luck – she dropped the third instalment, Sword of Stone in April this year.
Ultimately, I have the same criticisms of the second book as the first; her editor needs to ensure the book is checked for obvious mistakes that ruin an otherwise excellent narrative. Beckwith is refreshingly descriptive and is able to take the reader on the adventure with her – definitely an author to try if you’re new to high fantasy or looking for a quick break from reality.
Reviewed by Zoe Butler
Rating out of 10: 5
Distributed by: Amazon Australia
Released: May 2017
RRP: $6.36 eBook