I was kind of bummed in the first book when the author introduced all of these characters who were Morgan’s friends but then they got left behind when Morgan traveled to the elves, so I was happy to see that they were back in the story this time! They were a good little crew and all brought something different to the table. I especially have a soft spot for Chester, he’s such a sweetheart.
I will say however that this book was very slow-paced and not that much actually happened plot-wise. Morgan explained everything to his friends, and then the group traveled on horseback to the athenaeum while talking, philosophizing, and learning about magic. There wasn’t really a conflict in this particular book, it kind of just furthered the overall story. That being said, what was cool about the slow pace of these books is that it allowed for a high level of introspection and exploration among the characters’ thoughts, their feelings, their growth, and how they’re impacted by the things happening. In the first book, it allowed the reader to really understand how Morgan’s chronic illness affected his life. In this book, it allowed the reader to see how he was affected by having a healthy body, how he and all the other characters were affected by learning about elves and demons and magic and the truth behind their religious beliefs, how the genets were affected and how they grew by having more freedom, etc.
There was a tiny bit of romance this time, and their relationship is nice, but I don’t really have much feeling about it since they were already friends and this didn’t really change much in the story. I liked how the relationship between Morgan and Chester grew though. I appreciate that the author is portraying a relationship of loyalty and devotion that is not romance but is something beyond friendship.
Once again, I thought the audiobook narrator, Phillip Battley, did a fantastic job.
Overall, although there wasn’t a lot that actually happened in the plot, I still enjoyed this audiobook, liked getting to know Morgan’s friends better, and am looking forward to continuing.
Fans of Book 1 in M.C.A. Hogarth's Blood Ladders Trilogy. Anyone who likes high fantasy, magic, characters with disabilities, and compassionate characters.