|Kings of the North is the second volume in the Paladins
Legacy cycle (started with Oath of Fealty), which forms a direct sequel
to the The Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy. All of which means that the story
neither starts nor ends with this book do not expect a standalone volume. Elizabeth
Moon has constructed another satisfying episode in the Paksenarrion world that continues
the story begun in Oath of Fealty without a break.
The predecessor volume
was released a year ago and this book continues the story with nary a pause for breathe
nor a recap of actions past. Wars afoot, so take no prisoners and that means
Kings of the North fulfils the role of second book in a trilogy
admirably: the story from book one is picked up where it had been left hanging; the
sub-plots carried over are advanced or resolved, with new ones added for those closed out;
new characters with new information and motivations are added; and old characters are
brought back with new impetus.
But as befits second books in a trilogy: the story is left hanging and the reader is
left going "is that it?" So this reader is left wanting volume three, and maybe
volume four as there are a lot of unresolved sub-plots, to get to the end of a very well
My only negative is that Kings of the North assumes the reader is already
familiar with the story and the world in which it is set, however, given the way the story
is delivered that is not an unreasonable expectation.