Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
Never have I liked the second book in a series more than the first. Never have I liked a second book even equal to the first. As much as I loved the first book in this series, the second one blew it out of the water.
Other than when I'm waiting for an appointment, I never read during the daytime. My life is sadly too busy. I read before bed and that's about it. With this book though, twice today I took breaks to read it. My first waking thought in the morning was about the story. I've lost way too much sleeping time because I stayed up late reading.
The story continued from the first book's plot. On one level, it tells the story of Malick (a not-quite-human agent of a god) and Fen (an "Untouchable" -- someone a bunch of dead gods speaks through... many gods, all at the same time, nonstop, unending. Those gods always drive their Untouchables insane because they never shut up). While the relationship of those two men was a part of the plot, in this book the whole story was so much bigger.
The fantasy world this story is set in has multiple gods, one for each of the world's moons. Each of those gods has inhuman followers, has traits/personalities of their own, etc. And the gods also plotted and schemed against each other, all while not overstepping their own laws. Mortals? Mortals were mostly just underfoot. Except when they weren't.
In addition to those two layers of plot, there were those pesky mortals, who plotted and schemed and power-grabbed for themselves. Magic exists in this world, but was supposed to be restricted to just the gods, but those dead gods that speak through Untouchables gave magic to one small race of humans, which made the larger race oppress them and use them.
But really, with all those plots going on, it was the relationships and the characters that were my favorite parts of this book. There is no rush to love in this series -- at the end of book two, and one of the two characters was just starting to be willing to accept it. That makes their relationship seem so realistic and wonderful.
And speaking of wonderful, why is it so satisfying to have a character you love being in pain? If you're a fan of hurt/comfort, you'll really enjoy this series.
The one small-ish complaint I had was my same one I had with the first book: I wish the POV would stick with one or both of the main characters. Instead it jumped from character to the next (even minor characters) as needed by the story, sometimes changing even from one paragraph to the next (though that only happened a couple times, mostly it was consistent within a chapter). For me, that really made me feel briefly less connected with the story. I'd go "Who's head are we in this time?" and only after that get lost in the story again.
This series has only four books in it, and I'm already 56% through the series as a whole. I'm dreading what will happen when I finish it and there are no more books left to read in it. D: