Jamie Maltman has done it again. With the world developed in his first book, this one definitely took off and captivated from the first page. Simon and Elysia have been forced into hiding because of their unusual gifts. With the destruction of everything they knew, now they are forced to figure out where they are going to go next, and how they will support themselves.
They both continue to grow and develop as people, with all that entails. The many, many wrong choices that are countered by just a few simple great choices. Elysia burns for revenge, and while Simon does not stop her, he also does he best to keep that desire from consuming her. Along the way, new friends are encountered, all of whom have their own facet of the Talent to create. What these people will do with their talent is still up in the air, but the potential for what the Talent CAN do is explored in more depth as this book winds to an unexpected ending.
Elysia comes face to face with one of the people she wants revenge against, much to his dismay. But, the other walks free. Escorted by one of the beings that awakens the Talented, Parisi continues on his quest for personal power. Also, on his quest for revenge against the imagined slight Simon managed to do him that started this whole mess in the first place – Simon saw him in pain after he returned from being a hostage.
The third element that weaves through the entire plot, and helps hold it all together this time is the desire of an ex-slave to see all slaves freed. Though he originally makes his bid for power in the company of a big power, he finds at the end of the book that others look up to him and respect him enough he may be able to continue his plans when the powers that be abandon him for their own reasons.
Well written, tightly woven, and a wonderful read. I look forward to a time when I can actually sit down and read it with minimal disruptions. If the review seems a bit chaotic, it reflects my own read through, not the quality of the work. I was forced to read this one in fits and starts, which disrupted some of the flow of the elegant word smithing.
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