Siobeth-web-600In the second book of the cycle, the primary storylines from A Madness reach their climax as General Barney Alt marches his ad hoc army to lift the DuQaddish siege at Sidon, driving the ouhasandan raiders out of Celon and The Edain.

But the partnership between Alt and Rialta is beset by intrigues and betrayal. Beneath the battles, personal combats and fatal decisions, the story unfolds as a series of discoveries.

Though plot carries the story fairly rapidly in this installment, early readers of this volume have responded quite emotionally to some of the resolutions that occur, and frankly I was taken back by the intensity of the response. That’s good, of course — which is why I’m teasing you with it here.

If the series ends here, I think you can walk away from it with some sense of completeness and closure. But if the story is to continue, it will take the characters from Part One south, into the land of the Mullaqat, for a two-volume tale about the first steps toward revealing the object of the Secret Rite, in the midst of the Western Wars.