Karal, Sun Priest of Karse, has now become the Karsite envoy to Valdemar. He and the other representatives of the Alliance countries must figure out a way to keep their homes safe from the worsening Mage Storms. But Karal's youth and apparent inexperience make other older council members discredit him, and Karal's forgiving nature makes irrational council members dislike him. As Karal struggles to represent his homeland, it begins to take a toll on his health. Only his friends An'desha, Natoli, and the Firecat Altra keep him from becoming ill. However, as the Storms worsen, the temporary protections against them begin to wear away. Will Karal, with the help of Altra, An'desha, the Tayldras Adept Firesong, and the Companion Florian, be able to prevent the Storms from destroying his home forever?
"Storm Rising" is the second book in Mercedes Lackey's Mage Storms Trilogy. I really enjoyed it, though not quite as much as "Storm Warning."
It was slower paced than its predecessor and focused much more on the development of the characters. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing; I enjoy character development and tend to take my time reading books like that instead of rushing through them. Karal's relationships with his nonhuman friends Altra and Florian were filled out nicely, and I continue to enjoy the senses of humor that Lackey endows upon her characters. Firesong's spiral down into obsession and semi-depression was disturbingly real. Tremane came along marvelously. I liked him in "Warning," but the caring way in which he begins to rule Hardorn shows him to be an even more decent human being than I expected.
The climax is quite similar in basic structure to that in "Warning," but that is mostly due to Mage Storm problem that the Alliance is facing. However, it was different enough for me to appreciate what happened. My only complaint is that it came so close to the end of the book that there was no real denouement.
Bottom Line: A solid continuation of the trilogy that really lets you get to know the characters.