This book is a completion of the first in the series To Journey in the Year of the Tiger, which I reviewed on Monday. They must be read in order. Read the review (January 25, 3015) of the first book to have an understanding of the basis of this novel. https://bferrante.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/dickson-h-leighton-to-journey-in-the-year-of-the-tiger-book-review/
In the sequel, Dickson answers the questions raised in the first book and several in the second. All the odd plot twists and turns are pulled together into a gratifying conclusion. In the tradition of Tolkien, Dickson does not give a happily ever after ending but blends joy and tragedy, loss and gain in a believable and satisfying mixture.
Readers get to know the travelers on a deeper, more profound level as well as Solomon and the culture he represents. Over the course of the two books, every character changes and grows as a result of their experiences, not always in predictable ways. Although the second book is darker, there are still moments of humor to lighten the read.
Dickson puts the main character into a no-win situation. It isn’t as simple as choosing between honor and and love, duty and friendship, Empress and family. The difficulty is in ascertaining what is what and who is who, especially when surrounded by possible traitors and palace intrigue.
The book raises some interesting questions about loyalty, racism, love, and duty. Nothing is simple, even for lions.
Even though the story could be left at the end book 2, I have purchased book 3 in the series, reluctant to leave this remarkable world.
Come back Friday for an interview with the author.