by Hilari Bell
At the end of The Goblin Wood, Makenna opens a gate into the Otherworld and goes into it with her goblins and Tobin to avoid capture by the priest who is after her because it's illegal for anyone who is not a priest of the Bright Gods to use magic. Left behind, Tobin's brother Jeriah is frantic to get his brother back when this same priest, Master Lazur, tells him that Tobin will die soon if he does not leave the Otherworld. But Jeriah is no hero, and he knows he can't do it alone, which means some dangerous scheming that may hurt his family even more than losing the oldest son and heir.
Instead of focusing on Makenna, Tobin, and the goblins in the Otherworld, the main focus of the story is Jeriah and the politics of the court of the Hierarch. Despite this shift in focus, I was happy to learn more about Jeriah, who was a secondary character from The Goblin Wood, the ne'er-do-well and conspirator that Tobin loves enough to lie for and take his punishment. I think the only element of this book that disappointed me was the lack of urgency that I felt in reading it. Jeriah's stakes are high, but between plot points being clearly forecast and knowing there was another book to come, I never really believed that these characters were in any real - or, at least, immediate - danger. Still, I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading the final book in the trilogy when it comes out in the fall.