I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Lots of plot, very little characterization. The young men of the first book, Pug and Tomas, grow up and by second book’s end are reunited. Several things felt a little off to me—that both youngsters should have such an easy time becoming very powerful men, that Macros would instigate treachery rather than negotiate with the Midkemians & Tsurani, and that everyone at book’s end would just be so accepting of that whole situation. In fact, so many potentially highly charged situations are solved easily through a few questions & answers—very unlike the real world of politics and family relations.
I did acquire a fondness for Prince Arutha that I didn’t have in the first book. He is probably the most well-rounded character in the second volume. I suspect that at some point in book three, he will be happily married off to Princess Anita, who is showing herself to be a remarkably sensible young woman. I look forward also to his altered relationship with Martin Longbow.
In many ways, the plot is tied up with a nice bow at the end of book 2 and one wonders if Feist meant to go on writing the series. He has left just enough loose ends to justify a 3rd volume, but it is hardly a cliff-hanger ending that would impel the reader on to the next installment.
Enjoyable in a “what happens next” sense, but pretty disappointing if one is interested in complex characters.
Praise be to interlibrary loan, which meant that I did not have to pay to read this book!
This is book number 184 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.