Today's book review is The Phoenix Endangered by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.
This is "Book Two of the Enduring Flame", the direct sequel to The Phoenix Unchained, picking up where that left off. It would be a mistake to read this book without first reading Unchained. Unfortunately, it's a bigger mistake to read this one without continuing to the as-yet-unpublished third volume, because it ends in an unbearable cliffhanger.
This book is very much the continuation of the previous volume. It's a fairly interesting world, though definitely cliche, and it continues to be very frustrating how the main characters are supposed to be 17 but are treated and often act as though they're more like 13. I wonder if somewhere in the earlier books in the series, they happened to mention that years are shorter in this world, and I have forgotten it. The most Interesting theme is how people can rationalize doing terrible things and talk themselves into believing that they're good and right.
The story is engaging, but the ending (or should I say, the running out of pages) is extremely frustrating. I'm willing to wait until the next book to see how it all turns out, but to be cut off here without knowing what just happened leaves this reader feeling abused. 6 out of 10.
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