Unfortunately, the second Spiritwalker book isn’t as compelling as the first. Cat and Bee are wonderful characters (especially Cat!), but much of the plot feels like set-up for the third book; while there should be a lot of narrative tension, it doesn’t always read that way. Elliot’s melding of cultures is deftly done and the salters add a nice frisson of danger to the setting.
Cat and her cousin Bee are caught up in a political mess. The cold mages are closing in and rogue general Camjiata, newly escaped from his island prison, has announced his intention to use Bee’s prophetic dreams for his own purposes. As they try to escape, they fall into the spirit world, where Cat learns that her actions will determine the future of the world. After she and Bee are separated, Cat finds herself amongst those who would overthrow the cold mages of her homeland. Cat has no choice but to start making decisions about how she’s going survive, and those decisions will have repercussions for everyone she cares about. (ORBIT, Oct., 600 pp., $14.99)