Alta - the other side of the war
With book 2 the focus of the story shifts to the other side of the war as Kiron, formerly known as Vetch, returns to his homeland and starts to learn about his own people. Born on a farm and captured by the enemy as a child, Kiron has never really experienced Altan society, but he is about to get a crash course. He hopes that his return will help swing the war in the favor of the Altans once he shares all of the secrets that he learned as a dragon-boy in Tia, but he also knows that he is still too young, as is his dragon, to engage in the conflict directly. Not that he would want to at this point either because even though Ari helped him return home, he also issued him a warning: If the two ever meet in battle, Ari will do his duty for Tia. Kiron owes Ari his life and he has no plans to just throw it away by going up against him in battle because Ari is still the best dragon jouster that has ever lived.
Shortly after crossing the border into his homeland, Kiron rescues Aket-ten, the daughter of a local Lord and that affords him the luxury of finding a place to stay while starting his integration into Altan society. He quickly learns that his people are not all good, and they may even be more flawed than the Tians, but at least his station in society is that of a citizen and not a serf. When Kiron recounts the benefits of raising tame dragons he is put in charge of teaching a wing of young dragon riders how to do just that. So once again we learn new details about the political and societal structures of this world alongside the raising and training of dragons, which is never a bad thing. Eventually Kiron comes to understand that the rot within Altan society is no different than that of Tia and the war itself serves the purposes of only a very few on both sides.
The world continues to be flushed out and the story no longer relies on just the fascination of raising tamed dragons to keep the reader interested. With the larger story arc taking center stage this one was a little slow at times but it was still interesting enough to want to find out what happens next. Ryan Burke delivers another solid performance for the audiobook, so there is nothing different about his performance here to change your opinion of him from the first book.