A princess and her eclectic companions continue their quest to collect 13 mythical treasures in this epic-fantasy sequel.
The second volume in Logue’s (The Path to Misery, 2016) planned trilogy finds a small band of heroic friends scattered to the winds after a deadly run-in with the nefarious Prince Arawn of Annewven. Two parallel stories make up the novel’s first third. In one, Princess Eluned has a budding romance with Prince Irirangi of Favonia, a sun-dappled tropical island chain, although her friends are not as smitten by her new suitor. In the other, Eluned’s right-hand woman, Yona, has balked at her arranged marriage to Prince Hevel of Adamah and stolen one of the Thirteen Hallowed Treasures. Fleeing the country in disguise, Yona gets sidetracked while on her way to join the rest of the group. Eluned soon grows tired of her new beau but manages to form a helpful friendship with the twin princesses of Favonia before reuniting with Yona. From there, the adventurers, including Gwrhyr, the magical creature Jabberwock, the giant Bonpo, Chokhmah, and Faolan seek a magical creature who possesses the eighth of the 13 treasures. Along the way, flirtations—between Eluned and Gwrhyr, between Yona and Queen Njima (who joins the group later), and between others—become full-blown romances. The group’s quest for the ninth treasure finds them exploring the ruins of a long-lost, highly evolved society and discovering new facts about the history of their world and their individual pasts. Later, Eluned returns home to her parents’ castle only to find a shocking surprise. The strong ensemble cast is still the chief delight of the saga, and readers will find it fascinating to see the many relationships within the group shift and evolve. Yona’s heist and crafty escape also start things off in rip-roaring fashion. However, the pacing of the story stalls somewhat in its final third, and although the romances are satisfying, some readers might find themselves wishing that Eluned had more to do with her invisibility ring and legendary sword. Still, the series continues to stand out for its foregrounding of friendship, diplomacy, and exploration over gory sword fights.
A delightful reunion with old friends, sure to leave fans of strong female heroines craving the final installment.