With my schedule, it can take years to get back to a series. And this case, I was a bit lost, as I didn’t entirely remember how The Cloud Roads had ended. So, yeah, start this series at the beginning.

And it is worth reading. As I stated with the first book, this is a climax forest of fantasy tropes, and it continues here. We still don’t get much of a sense of the wider world around this, just the various fragmented pieces the novel goes into.

This time there’s two. The novel picks up right after the last one with Indigo Cloud court moving back to its ancestral home, and we get to see a lot more of how Raksura society works overall, though we still only see two communities. Not too surprisingly, the main plot flows out of this move, though not necessarily in the direction you’d expect.

The mountain tree that should house Indigo Cloud is dying, so instead of largely focusing on external problems of other clans, we deal with a mystery, and then a chase in familiar action-adventure mode. Much of the novel does take place in one of the ‘kingdoms of the sea’ that we didn’t get anything of last time. And, as ever, it’s different, inventive, and part of what makes these books good.

There is a fairly large cast of characters here, and there’s enough cross-currents to generate a hefty amount of extra plot points. It’s handled well, and characters are generally one of the strong points here. Overall world-building is still a bit lighter than I’d like, and there’s only a little added to from some of the big subjects of the first book. In fact, the Fell don’t get more than a mention here; which is good, as it helps the plot be it’s own thing here. But, I’m sure they’ll be back. There are more books, and I want to get to them!