This is the 2nd book in the Wall of Night series and it is fantastic. Old character are reintroduced,we meet many new ones and admittedly, it gets a bit confusing but do stick with it. Haarth turns out to be a very complex,vivid and interesting world occupied by a varied population. Betrayal runs deep, friends cannot be told apart from foes and the Darkswarm (ancient enemies of the Derai) seem to have infiltrated every part of life in Haarth.
My advice is "don't skip" as you will inevitably miss something vital that will only be revealed as the story continues and to be honest, you would be doing the book an injustice.
Helen Lowe has created a rich and vivid world told with a beautiful flow to the words where, the characters don't just jump off the page, they grab you and take you into their stories until you care so much, you need to know what happens to them.
I loved the revelations and,as said by others, thought, "of course!". The clues were there all along but they were given so subtly that you simply could not have guessed.
I loved this book and would go as far as saying that this is my best read of the year. I just hope it doesn't take Lowe too long to print the next installment.