The second book of the Safehold series continues to play to Webber’s strong points. And his weak points.

The book starts very well by giving a number of different incidents across the world to reintroduce where things left off, and show where they’re going. And these are followed up, and are important points to the wider story. So far, so solid structure, and nicely immersive writing. And, things progress naturally from there. Webber does a great job getting all the balls in the air again, and the action moves along briskly, with some very important plot points, and turning points in the history of this invented planet.

And then the book ends, with some of the most important bits not addressed at all. The main thing that is expected ‘next’ is dealt with peripherally all throughout the novel, with various preparations going on, and when everything is done, and the fleet sets sail, the book ends with a JoJo’s-style “to be continued”.

And you know, I enjoyed the book, I will continue on to book three, but I am gravely concerned. Despite how much I liked certain things, I dropped Wheel of Time hard after the first few books, because each one did well on its own, but while new plot elements and complications would be introduced, none of the old ones would get resolved, and the overall plot get bigger without moving forward. Jordan, at least, had written the ending scene when he started. He knew exactly where he was going, and the story merely grew in the telling. I don’t know if Webber has any solid idea of what his overall plot here is. Certainly, the series pacing needs some work, and that at least implies a need for a tighter outline of the structure.