Second installment of an overstuffed fantasy series following The Unremembered (2015).
A magical Veil keeps the evil Quiet trapped in the Bourne. A sect of magical singers maintains the Veil by singing the Song of Suffering. But as the singers falter, the Veil weakens, so the defenders need a grand alliance to fight the invading Quiet, whose ranks include evil wizards, giants, and numerous quasi-human species. A catastrophic defeat leaves each of our heroes with a problem or two to solve. Vendanj, a Sheason, or wizard, must persuade a pacifistic faction of the order to join him in battle. Bowman Tahn Junell will travel to Aubade Grove to rejoin a colony of scientists, hoping to find a means to strengthen the Veil. Braethen, a warrior-scholar sworn to protect the Sheason, carries the magical Blade of Seasons but doesn’t know how it works. Root-digger Sutter will take his Sedagin glove, blade, and magic sigil to Alon’Itol and attempt to persuade smith king Jaales Relothian to join the alliance. And magical singer Wendra travels to Descant Cathedral in order to learn from Maesteri Belamae how to control her powerful song. A couple of other narratives weave in and out, one about a seeming good-guy faction within the Bourne and another, particularly annoying, thread in which manipulative League of Civility leader Roth Staned hatches despotic plots while his opponents stand around wringing their hands. Once again it’s a case of intriguing ideas drowned in details; characters who prefer talking to doing, even in the middle of a battle; and an author seemingly convinced that more is better.
In sum, more of the same, at even greater length.