Having concluded their epic battle with The Nethergrim, Edmund, Katherine and Tom are separated and trying to get on with their old lives. Katherine is told that since her father was the trainer of warhorses but is now gone that she can't stay in that position. Lady Isabeau decides that Katherine will have to work as a skivvy in the palace, which doesn't utilize her skills at all. Edmund's parents are still running their inn and are more supportive of his experiments with magic, which is especially important as he works to conquer the Nethergrim and the new threat-- the Skeleth, which turn ordinary mortals into possessed fighting machines. Tom is trying to rescue Tristan and make his way back to Lord Elfric, but with the Skeleth, as well as the evil Lord Wolland, this is not easy. It doesn't help that the Nethergrim sneaks into Edmund's thoughts and tries to control him, or that Elli, a girl who is also interested in wizardry, is distracting him from both the threat of the Nethergrim and from his affection for Katherine. While the crew, aided by the return of John Marshal, wards off the latest threat, there is still plenty of tension in the kingdom to warrant a third book.
There will always be readers who thirst for medieval fantasy/adventure books, and this is an excellent addition to a collection of these tales. This was a great read for fans of Lloyd Alexander's Book of Three, Tolkien, and Jinks' Pagan's Crusade. This has all of the basic exciting elements-- fighting, intrigue with kings and lords, horses, and magical evil threatening to destroy the world.
I especially appreciate the diversity of the characters, and the story was arranged in such a way that I didn't have trouble following their separate stories at all.
I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!