Against my better judgment, I liked this book much more than it deserved to be liked. In its (and my defense), it is better than the first book in the series, The Briar King. Among other things, it is shorter. It’s not short, but contemporary fantasy authors seem determined to publish nothing with less than five hundred pages anymore. And it’s developing a nicely creepy conspiracy. There’s almost an element of horror creeping. Not really, but you can see… not so much the influence of Lovecraft, but the influence of writers who were themselves influenced by Lovecraft. So, indirectly and a couple steps removed. But it’s still there.