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The second book of “The Braided Path” series by Chris Wooding, The Skein of Lament, is a rare sequel that I liked better than the first book. The series is a fantasy reminiscent of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Set in an alien fantasy world (which has three moons), the second book revolves around the conflict between the noble families of the Saramyrian Empire, the evil magic wielding Weavers, and the group of rebels from the previous book.
Many of the rebels are aberrants, mutants with various abilities. A group of them, known as the Red Sisters, are able to counter the Weavers abilities. As the nobles continue to maneuver against each other, the Weavers plans become clearer. Meanwhile, Sophia, the child of the Empress murdered in the first book, is developing her ability to commune with the spirits.
The writing remains good, the vivid descriptions of the imagined world and solid characters of the first book are built on further. I like the fact that many of them, including one of the main characters, Asara, are neither good nor evil. This book introduces some great new characters. The plot is far more action laden than the first book, and the ending is excellent. I have the anthology “The Braided Path”, and I’m reading the sequel “The Ascendancy Veil” next.