It took me a while, but ‘ve finished the second book of Shae Ford’s Fate’s forsaken series – and I’m findinf it a bit harder than usual to rate this one.
The first book, Harbinger (review) was quite lighthearted in many aspects and Kael’s brooding was adding only a small dose of counterbalance to that.
In the second book, Kael and Kyleigh split, each to take a separate part of the problem – and they’re both left to ponder the separation and their doubt several times. The story also gets into a stage when there’s more at stake and while the first book had the main group on the run almost all the time, they still had things somewhat under control.
Not this time.
Kael’s story gets into major trouble quite fast – he and the annoying fiddler Jonathan get separated from the pirates and captured by giants. Jonathan is made the Baron’s entertainer while Kael is locked up with giant slaves and struggles with the work that’s more than someone of his body mass (lack of it, to be specific) can do.
In this passage, there were a few lines that I could only agree with – one about how bodily exertion can cause your problems to melt away, at least temporarily; and other about third day being the hardest when it comes to piling fatigue – something I know well enough myself from hiking.
To close up what I can tell about his plotline, it’ll take him a while before he can resume his plan – if he wants to survive working the fields, he needs to gain the giants’ trust first – but he also finds two unexpected allies: a crow-shifter and a book left by other whisperer.
Kyleigh’s story starts in the still-being-repaired Roost – and it’s there when she first enouters a werecat shifter that’s getting on her nerves but also can’t seem to leave her, for whatever reason. She, Silas the werecat, and Jake – the struggling mage freed from the Witch’s curse in book one – leave for their part of the mission. They also get an unexpected companion in a female assassin with major trust issues.
Their dangers, as the blurb hints come from the desert – the scorching heat during the day and the massive worms living in the sand during the night. They eventually end up in a system of underground caves, captured by desert people called the ‘mots’ who are being overrun by trolls and led by shaman-like woman. Unfortunately for Kyleigh, they’re far too obedient with fate and can’t see how their leader lets her personal grudges affect her decisions.
Just like Kael, they first need to figure out what’s going on and how to deal with it before they can get back to their original plan. Which is, of course, something I won’t even hint due to spoilers.
The book, as I said, is on the short end when it comes to the lighthearted passages – possibly because the pirates play a role only in the beginning and the end. And there are passages that feel a bit slower for that reason. Yet, it felt there was more depth to the world.
The time it took me to read this was affected by a few outside things: The fact I was working hard on my own writing and then Blizzcon – after which I went back to the book and read the remaining 40% in two sittings.