Saba thought her world would return to normal after they defeated the Tonton and rescued her kidnapped brother Lugh. The family head west for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But a formidable enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants?
This is the second book in the Dust Lands series, after Blood Red Road, which I really liked.
I liked this book as much as I liked BRR, but so much time had passed since I read that first book that I had a lot of trouble remembering who some of the minor characters were for a while, and it took me a couple of chapters to feel drawn back into Saba’s story.
Aside from that, I had a lot of fun reading this book. There was a lot of action, and I liked the world building. I struggled a bit in BRR with the writing style and the fact that the author didn’t use any quotation marks when people were speaking, but that wasn’t an issue for me this time around. I thought Saba’s language and the intentionally misspelled/mispronounced words representing Saba’s speech reflected the lack of education in her world, compared to Wrecker times. It made her world feel authentic. I appreciated the writing in the sequel in a way that I didn’t in BRR.
This time around, Saba is out looking for Jack, who sent her a distress message. Lugh and the others aren’t so sure that Jack can be trusted, but Saba cares for Jack and will do anything to find him. I liked the characters – particularly Emmi and Tommo – but Lugh and Saba’s relationship seemed strained. I was intrigued, because Lugh was very reluctant to talk about what happened to him when he was taken by the Tonton, and clearly didn’t trust Jack – so much of BRR was about Saba’s search for Lugh and now that they’re together, they aren’t getting along. It will be interesting to see what happens going forward.
I also liked Saba much more than I did in BRR. She’s brave, tough, strong, and even selfish but I could understand why she did everything she did.
There’s a new enemy in this book, too. The Tonton have been reshaped into a more disciplined, organized group, under the leadership of someone known as the Pathfinder. I won’t say much more to avoid spoilers, but it took the story in an interesting direction.
Overall, I really liked this book and I definitely recommend the series. I can’t wait for the next book!