While Vandien has taken up a job to recover a legendary chest from the Windsingers in a local village festival, Ki gets a seemingly easy job to transport a few boxes. Vandien soon discovers that his job is more or less a prank, and Ki gets into a lot more trouble than she thought she would. Both of them end up going against a wizard and the Windsingers.
I hate plot summaries. Much of what's interesting in the book is seeing Ki and Vandien dealing with their increasingly strange circumstances. My previous write up of Harpy's Flight doesn't adequately convey just how much I love these two characters, but I do. So much. I think in this book, they're friends, companions, and sometime lovers, which is a big change from the first book.
I was going to complain about how much of the book they spend apart, but once they meet up and their two plotlines converge, there is so much of the awesome in their interactions that I do not begrudge the time apart at all. That said, reading the two plotlines isn't a drag; there's a lot of interesting worldbuilding, particularly with Vandien and the village he's in and a bitter, hurt girl named Janie. I had a harder time making heads or tails of Ki's plotline, but a lot of that is because there's intrigue and because I kept wanting to whap her traveling companion.
Anyway. Ki's much less overtly damaged than she was in Harpy's Flight, and Vandien is less of a mystery, but Lindholm manages to show this to us in a way that implies they've been together long enough to smooth out some of the rough edges, and she does so in a way that takes up on the emotional threads from the first book.
Again, I'm having a hard time conveying just how much I love the two characters, both apart and together. I love the feeling of familiarity between them, the mutual respect and the carefulness both have for each other. Lindholm manages to do that writerly thing of having the characters say very little and still say volumes with subtext, and it gets me every single time.
Much love. Also, am now grumpy that I do not have the third or fourth books yet, so I cannot start on them rightthissecond. Also also, I would kill to have the story of their relationship between this book and Harpy's Flight.