The title does not belie the content; this book is full of nasty plots, less-than-polite deals, and heart-wrenching compromises by more than one character. It's very refreshing to see a fantasy novel not only get outside the standard (and tired) formula, but bring the reader characters who are very memorable (and human). The not-so-human characters have interesting powers, but they aren't all-powerful and they even have "power failures" at inopportune (for the humans) moments. This is _not_ the usual medieval fantasy setting, and it definitely doesn't have the usual medieval fantasy feel to it. That may make certain fantasy readers cringe; if so, I suggest they go find something else. Flexibility of mind is required here, and if one is willing, the journey can be extraordinary!
Again, solidly-plotted with plenty of action and adventure and introducing more memorable characters who mesh well with the lead characters from the first book. Particularly, we see more of the nonhuman population of this planet. Plus, Fancher's world-building skills are as good as her character developing skills are! (One of my favorite aspects of sf/f!)--Margaret Adamson Fincannon.
A month after the destruction at Boreton Turnout, the Rhomandi brothers Deymorin, Mikhyel, and Nikaenour along with Deymorin's companion, Kiyrstin, return to Rhomatum only to be immediately arrested on entering the city. It is feared that they might be impostors wanting to make mischief now that the Ley-web has become damaged, or that the real brothers have returned with the machine that can harness lightning and so cause even more damage. A night passes, and Nikaenour, upon his release, demands that his wife, Lidye, have the others set free, too. Mostly, the arrests have been a nuisance, but Mikhyel has fallen victim to the prisoner Ganfrion, who forces him to perform sexual acts and which Ganfrion uses to blackmail Mikhyel into promising future favours. The brothers discover that Anheliaa, the ringmaster, is slowly dying. And the city council are demanding an explanation regarding the state of the Ley-web, and what is intended to be done about it. Mikhyel and Kiyrstin set the council's immediate fears to rest. But it falls to Mikhyel and Deymorin to attend to the outer nodes' confidence in the Rhomandi, and rally the troops in case of attack from their old adversary the Mauritumin, and their Northern Crescent allies. Like its predecessor, Ring of lightning, this book concerns itself ( even more so now that the number of direct associations have increased), with how the principal characters see themselves in relation to one another and the outside world; human, and non-human; politically, familially, and magically. This makes for an interesting mix of romance, and vested interests, which I found to be gritty, subtle in its development of plot line, and at times, appropriately humorous. So anyone who likes their fantasy more involving than usual, should find this book, along with its stablemates, good reading.
The first book made me long for this one and I was not to be dissapointed. the characters are so lifelike that I felt like an eavesdropper on their story. Exspecially the sibling-fights made the whole thing so real. What makes this book great is that the maincharacters are not of searching for unreachable goals like how to be a saint, the glorious knight... they are actually driven by human ambitions...hate, greet, power and not to forget love. It is fascinating to watch the plotline develope and to see that everytime you think you can predict the outcome there is some unexpected twist that leaves you stunned. The only thin I have to complain about is that this great plotline leaves you sometimes, and it is partly hart to follow. Nevertheless I must say....its at least as good as the previous one.. and I'm really looking forward to the next one.