Part two of the Dreamhealer’s duology naturally picks up right where Mindtouch left off.

Jahir starts his residency on Selnor, and finds that it has even higher gravity than the (for him) heavy gravity that he’d had to get adjusted to on Seersana. I was a bit tired on my own while reading this, and the combination of reading through Jahir’s struggles with a planet too heavy for him grinding him down really made me feel it.

Vasiht’h chases after him and helps keep him going as they get drawn into a medical crisis that strains both of them. (This gets into one of my problems with psionics, as Jahir’s purely mental (as in brain/nervous system) ability seems to be able affect something that from what very little description is given is more purely chemical.) In some books, this might be enough for the entire story, with a triumphant, but bruised ending.

But this is a book about two people, and not the external problems they come across. The crisis is maybe half the book, and definitely makes me think of Cordelia’s Honor: “But I’ve always thought—tests are a gift. And great tests are a great gift.” The second half is rebuilding from a test that nearly kills them (Jahir especially), and a clearer return to the themes of the first book.

The pair really are one story. There’s a third book in the series now (and some short stories), but that’s a sequel, and a new story, and so isn’t essential to pick up immediately as this one is.