I liked the predecessor to this book, Reap the Wild Wind, more than I recalled. Happily, that’s true of this book as well. While not quite perfect, it’s a very strong follow-up, and a great bridge in the series (both this trilogy and the larger trio of trilogies it is part of).
Initially, it feels odd that this book is so little about Morgan, the human, and his Trade Pact compatriots. At the end of the last book, Aryl told him to stay away and … he mostly does. But that’s true to the central story here, which is about Aryl and her newly-forming Clan. The Trade Pact is an interesting, intriguing, but largely peripheral element so far. Instead, we follow Aryl as she struggles to find the Clan a safe home, learns more about her powers, and comes closer to – if not understanding, then at least predicting – the actions of the Tikitik and Oud.
Enris, the other chief protagonist, is not left out. He continues his own storyline, following hints of Om’ray technology and a mysteriously distant Clan. Here, Czerneda stumbles a bit. Enris’ path is both a little too easy, and his discoveries a little too extreme (shades of Barsoom, I felt). I felt both were given (literally) short schrift, and would have liked to see them quite a bit more developed.
Overall, though, it’s a compelling, exciting narrative with satisfying ending. I look forward to rereading the last book in the trilogy.