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Superb narration. This is a fun series, told in 3rd person. The pace moves faster in this book, compared to book 1, probably because the characters travel around. Much of this book is set on board a trading ship called the Sapphire, and in towns along The River (unnamed). This river is believed to be the goddess, a river that has no source apparently, and appears to loop around, reconfiguring itself like Chutes and Ladders.
Wonderful cast of characters! They grew on me in this book. Together, they must interpret the vague riddle from the goddess and accomplish her mission. I was constantly guessing the riddle, too. Surprising twists.
Seven ranks of swordsmen and the color of their kilt:
Level 1 is called a novice, wearing a white kilt.
Level 2 is called apprentice, wearing a yellow kilt.
Level 3 is called swordsman, wearing brown. (At this level, you can own things.)
Level 4 is called adept, wearing orange.
Level 5 is called master, wearing red.
Level 6 is called "honorable" wearing green.
Level 7 is called "lord" wearing blue.
Slaves, beggars, and the nameless wear black.
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The second book in the series, greatly helped my estimation of where the story could go! Simply marvelous story telling!