100 pages into this, I ended up giving up, at least for now. I enjoyed The Best of All Possible Worlds, and thought I remembered it quite well, and yet all the interplay of characters and cultures felt confusing here. It features a minor character from The Best of All Possible Worlds as the main character, so you wouldn’t think it, but to be honest I am wondering if it’s best to read this straight after the first, so that all the societal details are at your fingertips. I just felt lost, unable to attach to characters or events, not quite sure why X was leading to Y, missing jumps of logic.
It’s entirely possible it’s also me being stupid, but I do think this lacked the structure and tightness of The Best of All Possible Worlds. The characters didn’t grab me, either; having Grace and her husband just in the background didn’t help, because they’re already strongly formed characters, and Rafi… you don’t know much about him in the first book, and he’s grown up a bit since then.
I might pick this up again if I ever give The Best of All Possible Worlds a reread, but I’m not that eager about it.