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Having read the first book, which I thought was ok but not great, I hadn't planned to read part two, but as I had a free copy and the weather has been poor, I settled down to listen. I'm really glad I did.
As many of the main characters had already been introduced, there was little scene setting to be done so the action was launched straight into without any ado and the pace kept going to the end.
Cassia continued to grow into her unexpected role as the heir of the north, changing from a young storytellers daughter, to a fearless warrior woman with a clear insight into what she must do to achieve her goal. As she did so, Cassia stayed true to her morals and values and was not afraid to speak her mind to...well, men, who all too often dreamed of power & glory and thought to align themselves with Cassia to achieve their own, less honourable aims.
This is a well crafted story, told in a style that keeps the listener involved and wondering where it will all end. The narrator is superb. The majority of the book's characters are male, the narrator skilfully portrays their range of ages, accents etc very impressively and lends the book the tension it deserves. This is what keeps one listening long after lights out.