I read this book about 17-Nov-2002. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2002. This note was last modified Saturday, 19-Aug-2006 10:40:26 PDT.
This note does not contain major spoilers for the book.
The title I give is not the official title; it has no official title yet, so I have no idea what this will be published as. It is, in any case, the sequel to the excellent The Curse of Chalion. [12-Aug-2003: I've updated the title to match the announced publication title. I'd originally listed it as "Ista's Book".] Since it doesn't have a title yet, I can't think it has an announced place in the publishing schedule yet. Sorry, everybody! [12-Aug-2003: They've started posting sample chapters on the HarperCollins website. The scheduled publication date is 23-Sep-2003.]
It's a fairly direct sequel, picking up a relatively short span of time after Chalion ends. But following Ista, who plays only a minor role in the previous book. Sorcery, demons, and the Roknari are playing major roles this time around, as of course do the gods.
I'd describe it as a spectacular success. While big things are accomplished at the political level, the book's real thrust is at the personal level, where, for various people, all is very, very, well. Like A Civil Campaign, this seems to be a book about people who are expanding, opening, growing.
For the level of spoiler care I try to hold to for unpublished works, that's really probably about enough to say.