There are many things about this series which are just rather typical. You can predict a lot of the narrative beats and tropes, because it’s drawing from the same well of story as a lot of other epic fantasy. However, if you made it through the first book (a feat in itself just because of how long it is), you’re probably aware of that and on board for the characters. And I’m pleased to note that they don’t disappoint: Simon gets less annoying, Rachel the Dragon continues to play her part, Binabik’s background is explored somewhat, there’s more of Jiriki… and most importantly to me, remembering that he was my favourite character before, there’s more of Josua. Although, on this read-through, I might actually be preferring Deornoth…
In any case, the story barrels along at a reasonable pace, and though there are one or two sticking points, it never slows up as much as the first half to two-thirds of the first book. I remembered somewhat why I’d found a particular character so annoying, which was a little disappointing after rather enjoying their part (such as it was) in the first book.
Pryrates remains an excellent villain of the cackling evil laugh sort, doing evil things with little remorse. Elias is a little more grey-shaded, but really not much: this series up to this point has a pretty black-and-white view of morality, with the Sithi perhaps being the most subtle element.
I’m enjoying it very much for what it is: very much drawn from fantasy tropes, but with a solid cast of characters who don’t fall too easily into stereotypes.