While I liked the world in which the story took place, I could not help but find the plot a little slow and its development to be a little to obvious...Show More » The main revelation in the story was not a surprise and the mystery was not much of a mystery since it was clear who was the antagonist since about the middle of the book. I'm still going to give the rest of the series a try, but overall I must admit to being a little disappointed with this one.
In the first book the characters developed individually and in their relationships in a moderately satisfying way. The protagonist's naive nature and..Show More » feckless enthusiasm were excusable because he had grown up in a sheltered environment. In this book ,however, all of the characters just act as foils to progress a very predictable plot. Caldan is shocked, over and over, that he isn't taken seriously by people in power. This is really painful to read. It's like watching a bad horror movie where the irrational actions of the characters just make you want to punch them. And it is made worse by the fact that Caldan is supposed to be this strategic genius who is great at reading patterns and people. And he shifts between offhandedly slaughtering enemies, and being appalled that he has done something so callous as to strike a lady! (The lady in question being a murderous sorceress).
All this ends up just making it impossible to understand his motivations or maintain respect for a character which the first book managed decently. Hogan got lazy with this book and instead of working on character development and finding ways to flow forward the plot from there just makes up absurd situations and conclusions to ram forward to the next story line.
Also, he repeatedly uses the "I don't have time to explain right now" ploy to avoid characters from understanding what they need to, when there is never actually a shortage of time. Usually these phrases occur during the middle of journeys or preparation periods that are days or weeks long, and the explanation would take maybe 30 seconds. No time while making a campfire, or during eating, or before sleep? I don't mind suspending disbelief but it's much easier to get lost in a story if you maintain realistic premises for inter-character tension and lack of clarification.
Pros: some exciting parts. The main protagonist keeps making terrible decisions which gets kind of funny. Narrator is great Cons: So much millin..Show More »g and wandering around the same place. Constant expository dialog and thoughts: if you are not sure what the main figures are thinking, they will tell you 3-8 times. Really very little payoff for therms of a trilogy