This is just a fine book. It is the sequel, of course, to Lion’s Blood, but I have to hand it to Mr. Barnes in that the story and the characters have advanced.
We still have Kai and Aiden, brothers beneath the skin in a nation on the North American continent where things are delightfully awry compared to today–somehow in the distant past it was the African nations, and not the Europeans, who conquered the world with learning and art and culture and military prowess.
Kai is now functioning as the Wakil of his estate-empire, a slaveowner of northern Europeans, and now-freed slave Aiden is living with his wife Sophia, when challenged occur that drive them both in directions they neither expect nor want. Nandi and Laminya are back in the picture as well, and there is betrayal and love and death and the ecstasy of triumph. Familiar faces of wisdom return in Babatunde, and there is the tension of truth as a tension between faith and life.
Aiden will set out on a journey to find his long-lost sister, separated at the moment of enslavement, and Kai must walk an extremely fine line to manage the competing powers of Africa that would seek to divide and conquer the nations of America even further. There are shifts of political power that could result in disaster with a single wrong move, and there are assassins ready to strike a dagger into those he loves and protects. Swordplay and fights and love and betrayal swirl throughout the book.
It is a wonderful sequel, and thankfully not just an extension of the previous story–that is, it isn’t just Part B. It is an expansion of the people and the depths of their existence.
I loved Kai in the first book, and now I find that I would like to meet him some day in a world where all the good things of life that I know and imagine come together.
Very well done.