Today's book review is The Phoenx Unchained by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.
This kicks off a second round in the universe of the Obsidian trilogy (The Outstretched Shadow, To Light a Candle, and When Darkness Falls). It's a thousand years later, so the characters from the first one (even a few who are still alive) are legendary heroes. I don't think it's necessary to read the earlier books to understand this one, although it does let you understand a few jokes.
This is a more pointedly young adult story than the earlier ones. The main characters are nominally 17, but seem to think and act like they're 12, to an extent that diminishes the story. It's also a quicker and easier read. The problems of ordinary people being forced into the roles of heroes is a major theme. It's easy to read and fairly enjoyable, but not terribly original. 7 out of 10.
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