The second book in the Dragonvarld trilogy (first being Mistress of Dragons, which I had previously blogged about) picks up where the previous book left off. The twin boys, one part dragon, one the bastard of royalty, have grown up and now must deal with the powers their heritage has given them. Ven (short for "Vengeance") grows up unloved by Bellona, his life focused on the eventual revenge she intends upon his father. Meanwhile, Marcus grows up in the King's household, trapped in his own thoughts as he experiences a Dragon's mind. Again, Draconas is there to guide them through, though not always successful. He does manage to guide Marcus back to sanity, but for Ven he is unable to do anything for him.
Being the middle book of the trilogy often makes for a less exciting or interesting book. Where the first book sets up the universe, characters, and the conflict, the middle book often is tasked with developing the story, without the benefit of the final book's climax (which for fantasy is also often the most action packed). This book is no different, and I didn't find it quite as exciting as the first.
One interesting development in this series is that Weis is not afraid to pull punches. The bodycount continues to pile up. Whereas in the previous book we had only Melisande die, in this book we have both Belonna die...as well as Draconas! The latter is probably the biggest surprise in the book, since I was positive that he would develop as the primary character of the trilogy. I also found it point of view important in telling both sides of the story.
I started reading volume 3 (Master of Dragons, to be blogged about in the future), and there hasn't been any great revelations or surprises. Hopefully the payoff of the story meets up with my expectations...