This is the second in the Instrumentalities of the Night series by Glen Cook. I read the first one in the series a while back and was swayed over against my early misgivings. By the end of the first book, all the problems I was having had been eliminated. The amount of information you will have to retain is staggering to be able to keep up with this series. This book delves without warning right back into the mix. Having just read the first one a week or so ago, I had no trouble but someone who might take some time between these 2 books could easily find themselves lost until they remember everything. A refresher of the first one might still be required. What made the first book in this series great continues in this one. All the political intrigue between the leading nations and war is back. More of the world is opened in this one as our hero, Else/Piper is ordered by the religious leader in his country to take the army and begin a crusade. While in the midst of this campaign, our hero also has the task to survive as the creatures of the night and myth step up in their quest to destroy him. It is a lot of information to handle, but once you lose yourself in this story, it doesn't let go. I find myself now desperately waiting the next in this series. hopefully I wont have to wait very long. While Glen Cook's Black Company series is among my very favorite fiction, this series could easily find itself along side it in my tier of favorite series.