This book is tough to read. I didn't realize that it was the second in a series until I had already read a bit, so maybe that was part of the problem. I don't know. Before telling any story, the characters are introduced- but without any sort of reference, it is absolutely without value. When the story does begin, you can't tie up the characters to what has already been written. A big problem is that the characters are referred to in several different ways: by last name, by religious title, by relationship to someone else- there is just no way to figure out who the author is talking about. I tried keeping character notes, but even at the half way point I was still having to refer back to them for every change of scene. At one point I thought I had the hang of it, and the author went into a long winded explanation about good authoring practices. I give up.