But first I must tell you about this story! Burning Light is the second book in the Seventh World Trilogy, the first of which I reviewed in my previous post. Here is epic, beautiful, well-written fantasy that sings of Christian truth.
The story deepens
The Order of the Spider is moving. It is snatching Gifted children from their homes, seeking to use them for evil, making them forget their own names. The Empire is ruthlessly hunting out the Gypsies, killing and taking captives. The rebels of Pravik cannot remain hidden forever.
The King's return draws nearer. But so does the darkness seeking to rend the Veil of protection. And some of that darkness is already devouring men's hearts.
Nicholas Fisher goes on a journey to free a captive. On the way he will discover who he is. He will hear many things. And he will experience the Song of the Burning Light.
While this story is mainly about Nicholas, Maggie does show up again for a bit, as do other folks from the first book. And there is a wonderful range of new characters. Michael O'Roarke, the young chieftain searching for answers and safety for his clan. The young lady named Miracle, one of the Gifted. The mysterious people from a secret and secluded culture. The strange white wolf. The evil Unnamed One, once a man but now consumed by evil, burning with desire to rend the Veil and unleash the darkness into the world.
The middle of a series can be a hard book to read and, I expect, to write. But Rachel Starr Thomson has done very well here. This second book in her Seventh World Trilogy is just as exciting, just as full of wonder, and even cranked up a few notches from the first book. It's much more intense, and dark, and sad. Characters grow miles deeper. Wonderful and horrible new places in the Seventh World are explored. I think even Rachel's storytelling and word-smithing improved, and that's saying a lot!
At times the tale felt just a touch chaotic, with so many characters and plot lines. But that can happen with any middle part of a tale. And I never was lost or bored, believe you me!
Another interesting thing. Perhaps I am dense, or I was reading too fast, but something happened with a certain character that I didn't see coming. I think Rachel may be unique in her approach to writing characters' relationships - they keep surprising me, and I begin to wonder if that's because they are so life-like. Real people are never as predictable as average book characters. ;-)
I will probably be reading this one again near December, before the third book, Advent, is released. I await it eagerly. In the meanwhile, I'll be telling folks about this fabulous series (which you can purchase at her website, Rachel Starr Thomson, or on Amazon) and reading Rachel's thoughtful posts at her Inklings blog.