Second short book of the Adarna series, another quick read. This time, we get to know more about Martius and his motivations and he starts to round up as a character, some of his household dwellers also offer their point of view as the threads of the story unravel and new threats appear: his wife's, genius engineer nephew Metrotis', and barbarian Wulf's. In this installment (this short book ends in a cliffhanger like its predecessor) the story gets more complicated, a little less action driven until the bloody climax at the end, but the main plot mainly plays in the area of the mysteries that tighten around Martius and Conlan, and the enigma posed by "Optuss".
A tad slow at the beginning, the book opens with several Maritius/Conlan scenes, which are a bit repetitive and not really deep, but pleasant. The plot seems to offer a clear direction, but quickly the balance shifts and the characters are left to deal with the aftermath of a traitorous raid, and clearly more than one party is moving behind the scenes.
The book keeps its episodic pattern, but this time, whilst very little is added to the background development, the focus on characters nonetheless offers opportunities to take advantage of, I just hope to read a fulfilling ending by the third book which "will complete the first volume of the Adarna chronicles". There's still some repetition of info and thoughts, but editing and writing keep pace with the story. On to book 3.