The first book was a complete story. This second book marks the first of a two-part sequel. Both the good and the bad elements of the first book also apply here, save the party becomes more well-defined, and a lot of the threads left hanging from the first book come into focus as the larger story starts to move forward.
Like all fantasies, there's a lot of travel going on. The biggest difference I think is we finally start to get an idea what Rachel's role in the story is going to be, as she was almost superfluous in the first book. The downside is she appears to have swapped roles with Jason, as he appears to be taking the "usless sidekick" role.
I almost set the series down by the time I finished this book. Ultimately I was glad I didn't.
It's a story about a people we (in the West) don't hear about, and a culture we know nothing about. From that standpoint it's an important book.
Being a true story, however, there is a limit to the narrative, and that comes across fairly quickly in that the story becomes a succession of the same event happening over and over again. It's hard to escape because it's about a man doing the same thing every day from the beginning to the end of the book. He's travelling through a different culture, but there isn't a lot of variation in the culture of the people he meets during the journey.
The performance was good. Usually authors aren't the best narrators, but in this case Mr. Stewart was very easy to listen to.
Overall I'm glad I listened, but it got a little tedious towards the end.
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