This book continues the story of book 1. Compared to book 1, this book has more of an adventure type of story than a pure politicking one. This changes the pace of the overall plot and also helps with character development.
You will see the main character, Luke, engaging and participating more in the story than just waiting for things to happen. You will see more of his thoughts and how he learns more about the country beyond the burning lands. This does wonders for character development. New characters are also introduced and old characters go through changes as well. With some changes being pretty drastic.
The plot loses the ‘game of thrones’ feel while the adventure part of the plot is proceeding. Although the politicking seems to be a permanent feature every time Luke is in his homeland. However, the adventuring plot isn’t particularly exciting. They just seem to be more of a series of events Luke has to go through to grow. It more like a plot device than a well thought out “hero’s journey” type of plot. It seems like politicking aspect of the plot is the ‘main’ storyline, and we are just being taken on a sideshow here.
I do have to give praise for the writing style this time. Whatever weird and draggy writing style that was in book 1 is suddenly gone in this book. Though it’s not the best I’ve seen, it still is certainly better.
Overall this book being book 2 of a trilogy suffers from the usual fate that all middle books of trilogies face. I.e. they werent as great or memorial as the first or last book. Book 1 was setting up the scene for the trilogy and getting you invested in it. Having already read book 3 myself, I can say that book 2 was really just setting up the climax in book 3.
This book might not stand on its own. But, if you want to see the final politicking, grey morality, game-of-thrones-for-kids style action in the next book, you will have to go through the passable adventure beyond the burning lands.
Story/Plot (50%): 3/5
Character Development (25%): 4/5
Writing style (25%): 3/5
Total : 3.25/5