Now that the Adventurers Guild has saved Freestone in an epic battle in the series’ eponymous first installment (2017), new dangers lurk that are now not necessarily beyond the city’s walls.
Told in chapters of alternating third-person narration through the perspectives of the book’s heroes, Zed and Brock, the new adventure begins when the guild accepts the charge of elf queen Me’Shala to save the city of Llethanyl. After accidentally tapping into his elven powers in the previous book, Zed, now a full member of the Adventurers Guild, must come to terms with his half-elven, half-human origins as he feels increasing kinship with the elf refugees sheltering in Freestone. Meanwhile, his all-human best friend, Brock, is being blackmailed by the nefarious Lady Gray of the Merchants Guild to act as a spy within the Adventurers Guild. As the guild sets off on their mission to save Llethanyl, hidden dangers among them are revealed followed by the discovery of a lost city of druids. This second installment lacks the sprightly pacing, humor, and energy of the first, offering a slow build laced with lots of heavy dialogue and revelatory moments that don’t serve the overall story. The kid characters feel more like adults than the free-spirited youth introduced in the last installment. Too much backstory and too many characters who lack succinct focus make the story hard to follow at times. Zed has brown skin, and Brock presents white.
A second story that lacks steam. (Fantasy. 10-14)