This second novel in S. M. Stirling's series moved somewhat away from its hard post-apocalyptic roots, but was none the less an entertaining read. Stirling uses a nice quickly paced writing style to weave his tale of small community structures, myth, spirituality and warfare that is easy and pleasant to read. The second novel jumps forward eight years from the time of "The Change", starting with a somewhat shocking storyline from the Isle of Britain. New characters arise from this storyline and are woven in to storylines that follow our original heroes and villains from Dies the Fire. Some characters from the original, while still appearing in this sequel, have moved far into the background, such as Eric Larson and his wife Luanne. Others are brought more into the foreground such as The Lord Protector, Astrid Larson and Eilir. While definitely a fun read, the only troublesome thing about this installation was the fact that broad storylines were left completely unresolved. While waiting for resolutions in sequels can be exciting and invigorating, my concern is that this series will devolve into another monstrosity of Jordanian proportions (I long a ago gave up on his Wheel of Time series), where storylines are drug on continuously to no end, and concepts are flogged like a long dead horse. So far not the case for Sterling's series, but something to keep an eye on as our tale of a new society continues to unfold.