So, Cradle of Ice, the second book in what's allegedly going to be a trilogy, opens with our team of intrepid protagonists splitting up to accomplish different goals.
Nyx, our major heroine, is accompanied across the Frozen wastes in the dark side of Urth by Shiya, Rhaif, Graylin, and a company of pirates, as well as her friend Jace to discover one of the places where they can get the Urth rotating again. Along the way, they discover The Cradle, an area under the ice that is warm that supports human life. A different race of the hive mind bats live there, but they're under the control of something else.
In the meantime, Prince Kanthe and Freyll have gone to the southern Crown to the Empire of Klashe, where intrigues abound. Kanthe winds up engaged to the Emperor's daughter, who is in love with the leader of the faction that opposes the caste system in place in the Empire. (Not that Kanthe doesn't have his own suitors, the Princess's brother makes his desire failrly clear, as does on of the female assassins running around.
By the end, the plot has advanced as several goals are met, we have much more information as to what Shiya is (courtesy of a "lesser" bronze being who's been disguised on Klashe for a few centuries), and we have a set up for the next book which suggests either it's probably going to be rushed to a conclusion or expanded into 5 books. (Between the private war between Kanthe and his Twin brother, who now rules the Northern kingdom, the fact that they still have to go to the center of the desert wasteland on the always sun facing side of Urth, and they have to get a third relic from the now rather hostile Northern Kingdom....)
Yeah, I've gotten sucked into this series. I look forward to seeing what the next volume brings.
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