This second book avoids middle-volume doldrums by introducing a vast onslaught of still tougher and memorably unpleasant nonhumans who even the villains must oppose. Meanwhile, various characters skirmish on different parts of the map, and the hero struggles with unreliable powers conferred on him when he was chosen as Earth King to save the land and humanity--or maybe only a tiny part of each.
Farland maintains a steady flow of new situations, reversals, gambits, and surprises ... it's a real shock when one chap who has incurred a dreadful penalty for virtuous reasons is not spared (as expected in the normal chivalry of fantasyland) but rather pays the full, eye-watering price. One small criticism: the writing contains occasional sloppiness and repetition. Nonetheless, this is a rousing, painfully gripping story. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk