Having suffered through Lost Army of Cambyses, I have no idea why I still tried to read this book? It will be the last time a buy two book from the same writer at the same time. The book is slower than slow. I turned the page and just keep turning pages (20 or so) until I detected some slight advancement of the plot or the characters, then began reading again to discover that I had not missed a thing in the 20 skipped pages. "Pulse-Pounding"? Hardly. It put me to sleep night after night.