The Skyhound Master

The Skyhound Master

by Shauna E. Black

4 out of 5

Synopsis
Follow Xanthe, Avilene and the crew of the Carpathia as they discover there's more to the Andul enslavement than meets the eye.

Review
Avilene has accepted that she is a Conductor, but she's still getting to grips with her powers when her new family is ripped apart.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is the second book in the Andul Guardians series, and picks up a few months after the last one left off.

Avilene and Brayde are both aboard the Carpathia - the flying pirate ship manned by children rescued from slave labour - trying to get through winter, so they can track down their missing captain, Xanthe.
Their peaceful plans go awry when the local village is under threat by soldiers, and their escape is bungled, leaving the Carpathia a wreck in the mountains; and Avilene captured and taken to the Andul prison of Slaveek.

I really enjoyed this, as we learn more about the awful factories where geissler tubes are made; and Avilene finds out first-hand how horrible Andul prisons are. She's reduced to just a number, and the people in charge don't care if she lives or dies. There are children and adults alike, all with the unforgivable curse of being born an Andul.

We also find out about the Skyhound - the inescapable Andul-tracker that was at the center of her father's threats for years, if Avilene ever tried to run away.

Brayde and his young crew seek help from Io and the insurgents, to get flying again and try to save Avilene and Xanthe from prison.
This part of the narrative was a little slower, and had less to give than Avilene's story; but it was great to see Lorelei again - especially without Avilene's rose-coloured view of their childhood friendship in the way. I can't wait to see what the conniving little Andul has planned!

This was a good book, but it did feel like a typical-second-book-in-a-series.
It focusses on recovering from the fallout of the first book; and is busy expanding the world that we know, to prepare for the rest of the series. It sometimes felt like it lost it's own identity in places.

Overall, this is a really good book, and I'm looking forward to the next instalment!


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