In the sequel to Legacy of the Claw (2014), Bailey and friends must stop Viviana’s evil plan while staying off her radar.
After Midwinter break, Bailey and his friends must cover up their involvement in the fight that killed Viviana’s spy lest she discover that Bailey is the prophesied Child of War who heralds the return of the True King, Tremelo. They have extra reason for secrecy: Viviana’s starting a tour of the kingdom right at the school. This means that Bailey, newly awakened to his Animas bond with the white tiger Taleth, doesn’t even get a chance to explore the bond before having to conceal it. They learn that Viviana is working on a mysterious, terrible machine—and, incredibly, before they even know what it does, they copy the plans and start work on a machine to counter it. Evidence of Dominae spies sends Gwen off to keep the Seers’ Glass safe, and soon Bailey and Hal are in peril. Viviana isn’t the only threat—the Jackal, who assassinated her father, the previous king, was merely exiled instead of executed when he was deposed, and he is primed to return. Despite the intrigues, the storylines frequently fall flat due to implausible decisions and weak motivations. The narration doesn’t trust readers’ memories of the first book, and the frequent plot-point reminders grow repetitive. The climax progresses the series plot into the sequel.
Slapdash and paint-by-number. (Fantasy. 9-12)