I read the first book in this series, The Painted Man, last year, and thought it was an amazing debut. It was skilful, assured and beautifully plotted. It had some unusual and really effective conceits and ideas and the characters were great. It was a real page turner. I have waited a long time for this, the second book, and I pounced on it eagerly.
Unfortunately I found myself quite disappointed by it. The larger part of the book is taken up with the story of Jardir, the desert warrior of the title, and I just couldn't warm to him. I wanted to find out more about Arlen and the people of Cutter's Hollow, and having to wait, and wait and wait was really frustrating.
It's not that the Jardir story line is a bad one. I just think this would have been a better book if it had been broken down into shorter, intertwining segments of story, where you got to carry several threads along simultaneously. It would have made the pace more even and the book more compelling as a story. It's not a big thing to ask, given that all the character's lives interweave eventually anyway.
I also found the Leesha/Jardir storyline rather rushed and rather inexplicable. It seemed more like a device to move the plot forward rather than something convincing.
I do admire Brett as a writer and will definitely read on to find out what happens next, when the next volume comes out, but I hope the next one goes back to the originality and skill of the first volume and does not emulate this one.