So I Bought the Second One Too
After finishing the first book in the series, I obviously picked up the second book. Sorceress continues the story of unicorn-rider Kayleigh and her unicorn Majherri.
Unfortunately, it is literally impossible to discuss the plot and events of this book without completely spoiling the ending of the first book. And considering the first book ends with a twist, I really don't want to do that.
So let's just call it the continuing adventures and leave it at that. Like the previous book, it focuses on Kayleigh and Majherri. Unlike the first book, it's more regimented (for numerous reasons, but I'd like to think that the author improving is one of them); for instance, the chapters alternate between the two characters. Odd numbered chapters are Majherri, even ones are Kayleigh.
I'm pleased to mention that the copy editing on this book is vastly superior to the first book. Italics are consistent, there's minimal their/there or your/you're errors and punctuation is correct (no more dropped quotation marks). It's a welcome change as the copy editing in the first book was severe enough to actually hamper my enjoyment.
As for the book itself... well... it's light fantasy. Very light. It's not bad by any stretch (I quite enjoyed it), but it's not an epic for the ages. In fact, it almost has the feel of a YA novel, especially considering the rather short length (~320 pages on my Nook, so... 150-175 paperback?). It's also inexorably tied to other novels. You can't read Sorceress without first reading Rider and the story is incomplete as is because he hasn't finished and released Champion.
I fear this may be coming across as more harsh than intended. This isn't high art. This is a couple rungs above fanfiction, and if the author was a teenaged girl, I'd be sorely tempted to call Kayleigh a magic-girl Mary Sue.
But you know what? I liked it. Sure it was fluff, but it was fun fluff. It's enjoyable and interesting and I want to see where the next book leads, especially considering the introduction of the Yar's animal spirits. Hell, it's more fun than what the Temeraire series turned into (it was a bit of a chore by Empire of Ivory and was utterly unreadable by Tongues of Serpents). If nothing else, at least Kayleigh doesn't languish in hundred page long bouts of self pity, and Mr. Bernheimer knows his pacing.
So, so what if it won't boost my book reading cred like the Night Land or the Wasp Factory. I enjoyed it. And I can think of far worse ways to spend three bucks. In fact, I'm even going to outright pimp it. You can buy Sorceress (and Rider) at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords. And probably other places too. Enjoy. And then you too can say, "I read a book about a magical teenager and her battle unicorn."