Immediately after reading this book, I scurried to the bookstore in town and bought the other available sequels, because I'm obsessed, guys, OBSESSED.
I love the magic. I love Errol. I love Benfro. I hate Magog. O how I hate Magog.
Beulah gives me the chills. And Melyn pisses me off like hell.
It's great and I completely recommend reading the first book (click here for the review on that one)!
May contain spoilers of the first book!
Our two heroes continue their story in Gwlad. Benfro, with his mother dead by the hands of Melyn, must flee to not go under the same fate as his mother. He travels through the forest of the Ffrydd, going God knows where and stumbles upon the last resting place of the great dragon Legend, Magog, Son of the Summer Moon. Saving Magog's unreckoned jewel, Benfro has no idea what he's got himself into. And it doesn't matter, because the great Magog is willing to teach him everything he needs to take his revenge on the men who killed his mother. But how high will the price be?
Once he wanted nothing more than to be a Warrior Priest of the Order of the High Ffrydd, but now, as Errol uncovers the truth behind the Order he isn't so sure anymore. Meanwhile the Twin Kingdoms prepare for war against Llanwennog and Queen Beulah needs a spy to infiltrate their kingdom. Since Errol looks like a Llanwennog, he makes the perfect spy, only if the inquisitor could make him his puppet.
What a nice read!
The story picks up right where it left off and takes a but further into the world Oswald has created. We don't get to see very much, mostly just woods and the few places where men live, but still - I take what I can get, haha. More mysteries are discovered in this book and a few are unraveled, but quite like the first book - it was another build-up.
By build-up I mean a book which is part of one big story. The book isn't very eventful or superexciting, but it's slowly working up to the mindblowing event and contains a lot of information such as history of Gwlad, seeing our characters working on their magic or uncovering more about themselves, seeing the characters get prepared for something etc.
So in a build-up things are quite slow and almost boring, normally.
But with this book - and with the first one also - I didn't find it a problem at all. Like I said before in my review on the first book - I love the writing style and that is exactly why I don't mind the fact that it is quite slow. Oswald's vocabulary and descriptions making the reading journey worth it and his strong and great characters are so fun to get into. They're also growing in this book, especially Benfro and Errol, and that's so fun to see.
Another thing that really compensated for the slow pace of the book was the prominence of magic. Since both Errol and Benfro are consistently encountering magic, learning how to use it, how to control it, we too get to learn more and more about the magic. And I really really really love the magic in this book and how it almost seems real. It's so close to the nature, with the Grym and its lines connecting everything and everyone in the world and how your mind plays such a big role in controlling and using the magic is so fascinating. It feels old-school, like an ancient form of magic, and it really fits the story.
When it comes to different perspectives in the story, I kind of found it a shame that we got so much Benfro and not enough Errol. I even missed Beulah and Melyn!
Don't get me wrong - I love Benfro and I loved the new descriptions of the new places he discovers and the events that occur. They're literally magical, and just have that overdosis of fantasy-touch, which I love, but sometimes it gets a bit too much. These descriptions tend to drag on because of the many that are made (green as grass, for example) and it kind of feels like we linger to long at one place.
We don't really move on much in this perspective.
The real section that got me really thrilled and excited were the last few hundred pages of the book.
Here the tension starts to build up more and more; the characters in the book unravel a few more mysteries or they finally encounter the mysteries I as a reader already knew of. The switches between the perspectives occur more and more which is way more fun, but makes the long wait worth it!
Although the story continues slowly, Oswald did definitely put a lot of stuff in the story. The book is full of information on places and magic, dragonkind and its history and quite some mysteries pop up in the book, making it seem big, but it didn't feel so big at all.
Very contradictory, I know, but what I'm trying to say is; he puts a lot of elements in the story, but smoothes this out over the rest of the book, giving us bits and pieces of these elements every now and then.
Overall this book was a nice read and though it was another build-up, the magic, the writing style and the world itself made up for it. I'm really thrilled for the third book, because I hope it will be action-packed and we finally get to unravel some more mysteries!
That's it for this blogpost!
Until the next blogpost, then! :)