Firstly a warning to anyone who is buying this book. Make sure you have read the predecessor, The Dragon Keeper, before starting this one. It picks up exactly where Dragon Keeper left off with very little in the way of explaination. Hobb continues to write gripping narative with yet another book by her causing me to stay up to the early hours to finish it. Development of the charecters was excellent and not always along predicted routes, which is what makes the book worth reading. If I wanted to be picky I could say that really there are too many charecters being followed and this sometimes detracts from the story line by the rapid changing of views. Yet this perhaps adds to the charm of the book, making it clear it is not in the Assassin vain. This book is about a group, not an individual. For anyone who is a fan of the Liveship and Assassin books, this answers some questions. Not all though! Hobb has the good sense to leave our imagination to fill in what happens at the end of the epic journey started in Dragon Keeper, without feeling you have been cheated of plot.