This is the second book in the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series, and I enjoyed it even more than I had enjoyed the first. The first book, while very good, took time to completely grab my interest. I think that was primarily because there were a lot of characters to get to know, and there were a lot of different plot threads that needed time to develop. It took time for all of these things to be introduced and built up to the point where I was really invested. With this book, I started out fully invested in the story and the characters.
In addition to continuing the story of several of the characters from the first book, this book also introduced a handful of new characters. Leoff, the composer, was the only new character who became a frequent point-of-view character and I thought he was a great addition. We also learned more about characters who were only briefly seen in the first book. A couple of them turned out to be far more than they had originally appeared to be. One of them I had suspected, but the other was a pleasant surprise. The characters in this series are very interesting and fun to read about. The over-all story is interesting enough but, at least for me, this series is more about the characters. Finding out what would happen to them next, and learning more about the ones I didn’t know well yet, was what kept me turning the pages even when I had other things to do.
I thought the ending was a little more open-ended than that of the first book. When the final chapter ended, I felt like the characters were on the brink of accomplishing the goals they’d been working toward, but the brief epilogue made it clear that there’s more trouble to come first. (Well, there’s also the fact that the series has two more books in it!) The epilogue also left one of our main characters in a pretty bad position so, at least for that character, there was a bit of a cliff hanger. I look forward to starting the third book to learn what happens next.