Quick-take: In a rare occurrence, Book 2 was even better than Book 1.
This book really kicked the stakes high. Rather than being concerned about the survival of just himself, Julius Heartstriker is now worried about the entire clan going down (while still simultaneously being worried about himself). All the major players are back: Bob, Marci, and even the ghost cat.
My concerns about dragons not behaving like dragons was completely laid to rest. There are some very epic battles. There is plenty for fans of scorched earth storytelling. There are also cool spells for fans of epic spell-work. As for the story, we all start to worry if we are all just pawns while Seers jockey for power. Also, the book ended actually closing a couple story arcs and leaving the landscape changed in a meaningful way. Granted, this is book 2 in a 5-book series, so the overall story is still wide open, but I was pleased it wasn't just a filler episode like so many second books.
There are many threads in this story, and they are all woven together expertly. References and touches of foreshadowing is dropped throughout the novel, and I am surprised the author is able to keep track of them all. There is a bit of fortuneteller work happening in this story, so each event is important, and the book references them well.
I do have 1 complaint about the main character, Julius. His whining was starting to get on my nerves. In one minute he screams for action. The next minute he screams, "Wait! Are you sure?!" "OK. But please be careful. " Go away, Julius. We get it. You are very caring. He also gives several really sappy empathy-laden speeches, and there are some painful Marci lovey-dovey banter that made me groan.
Despite that, the book gets 5 stars, and I am picking up book 3.