I enjoyed this second book in the Arhel trilogy even more than the first book. The first book was entertaining, but the story was really pretty generic as far as fantasy stories go. Bones of the Past, on the other hand, had a more unique story and it too was written well.
I can’t think of any way to provide a brief synopsis of the plot without spoiling some part of it that I had fun discovering for myself, so I’m not even going to try. Well, I guess I could just limit myself to saying that there’s a society in this fictional world that has a really odd view about how to celebrate the twelfth year of a child’s life.
I really liked three out of the four main characters in the story. The fourth one was ok, but I never warmed up to her much. Two of the main characters are children/teenagers from the aforementioned odd society. The other two are adult mages. One of those is the one I never really warmed up to. The other was Medwind, the mage instructor who had discovered the main character in the previous book, Faia. Faia herself is in this book a fair amount, but I don’t believe we ever read anything from her perspective.
Both books so far have each told a complete story. I complained in my review of the first book that there was some wolf stuff that was never explained, and it wasn’t followed up on in this book either so I don’t think it was intended to be a plot thread. That book was Holly Lisle’s first novel, and I guess she was just using it to foreshadow events but forgot to consider whether it actually made sense in the context of the story. In this book, I didn’t notice anything like that. I thought everything made sense, although there was one aspect of the story near the end that I found to be way too coincidental, and there were several things related to that aspect which weren’t explained to my satisfaction.
But overall I was happy with the story and with the way most of the main plot threads were tied up. I had trouble putting the book down because I always wanted to see what would happen next, and I definitely plan to read the final book in the trilogy.