Ten years after the fateful clash between two opposing sides of the Divine Kingdom of Lyoza, Elin lives a peaceful life with her family. She tries to stay as far away from her past as possible—the girl who communicated with creatures and befriended a Royal Beast wants no part in the power struggles of humans. But when Elin is called upon to investigate a mysterious illness that’s stricken the Toda, she uncovers a startling plot—one that could threaten everything she holds dear.
In this thrilling sequel to The Beast Player, Elin must confront her destiny and the dire warnings of history. Is a final battle between the Toda and the Royal Beasts inevitable? Or will it mean destruction for all? – Goodreads
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.
I really wanted to love this, unfortunately it was just more of the same problems I had in the previous book. The 10 year time jump that starts out this book was a huge mistake when the story and characters have not changed one bit. It was as if Uehashi paused the entire world just so Elin could get married and have a kid off screen. The story feels as if it is only picking up a few days later and if it wasn’t for being told that there was a time jump (and the fact that Elin now has a husband and kid) the reader would never have known that much time had passed. Further, Elin at 30 is indistinguishable from Elin at 10, highlighting the lack of character development.
The repetitive, textbook style lectures are still prevalent here and even though there are multiple new characters, they are hard to tell apart since everyone talks in exactly the same way all the time. Finally, the beasts, which these books are supposed to be about, come across as props for the plot/human stories and have all of the personality of house plants.
This is deeply disappointing given that Uehashi has some really interesting ideas to work with.