Those in power can sometimes find themselves so utterly out of it that it suddenly makes them feel as helpless as a corpse buried twelve feet under the ground. And, sometimes those without any power at all can move mountains.
After a quick turn of events at the end of the previous book in the series, this one brings everything back into motion, albeit at a much slower pace than the previous one. We get to know more about the world of the Six Duchies and glimpses of that of the Outislanders. The relationships between the Six Duchies in terms of trades, conflicts, and alliances is nicely done. Finally, the well-established magic system evolves at a nice pace throughout as we learn bits and pieces about the Skill and the Wit throughout the book.
‘History is what we do in our lives. We create it as we go along.’ He smiled enigmatically. ‘The future is another kind of history.’
The book is filled with lots of great quotes, from witty one-liners to humorous dialogues to long philosophical blurbs. The author’s writing style really puts you into that ancient tone that this book emanates without making it extremely difficult to follow.
The character development in this book has the same genius that it had in the previous one. Characters are fleshed out to perfection and the behavior of every person in the book feels so true to what has been said about him. It's hard to find even a single flaw in the character development department of this book.
Sometimes it is easier to pull a knife out of a man than to ask him to forget words you have uttered.
In the end, though, not all is well with the book. I found some issues with the pacing of the book. It moves very slowly at times, crawling almost like a snail. And in some instances, I found it to be racing too quickly, the events unfolding at an alarming pace. That is not to say that it feels boring, far from it. The pacing follows events as they unfold from the narrator’s perspective and at the end, as secrets unfold about the events, it all starts to fall into place.
Overall, I would rate it 9/10. A wonderful read throughout and a must-read if you have read the previous one.