It isn't very often in my experience that as a reader you can pick up a book out of a series and not have the usual starting disconnect. That inevitable period where you often find yourself getting into the flow of things, catching up on missed time etc. Most of the time there is a subtle feeling that prevails to make everything feel different. You might over the course of a few chapters acclimate to the new series of events but generally speaking at the beginning that feeling is typically there.
As a writer myself I can easily attest that it is no easy task to circumvent that aspect of writing anything in a series. It is a nagging side-effect of the process it seems. But just as I did when I picked up The Hammer and the Blade I found myself gripped by the unfolding tale. This is an undeniable testament to Paul S. Kemp's incredible mastery, I have to say. The fact that unquestionably time has passed by from the events of the first novel and yet as I open it's successor I immediately find myself in the comfortable familiar presence of fictional friends. It is akin to meeting with an old dear friend and finding that it is as if nothing has changed between you, everything feels just as it did when last you met.
The whole thing is wonderfully impressive on one hand, and delightfully rewarding on the other. Yes, I will confess you cannot escape the knee jerk reaction of asking yourself: "What have they gotten themselves into this time?" But even as you find yourself following along to find out and be filled in on matters you also soon become distracted by the growing plot that no doubt will ensnare our beloved and boisterous heroes.
The dialog as can be expected is dripping with wit and flavor as our pair of protagonists quip back and forth. The story builds in the expected way Mr. Kemp has proven himself able to skillfully shackle you to his book. Every element of the sequel is, I must admit nothing less than the original in my opinion.
I do have to reluctantly confess that I myself have yet to finish the novel. Typically I try to reserve any comment until I complete a book, but with this work(just as I found myself compelled by it's predecessor) I cannot resist praising it. I have absolute faith in the remaining fun awaiting me in the novel to be able to say that you have to do yourself the massive service of grabbing a copy immediately. And if you have yet to read it's fore-runner, I recommend highly that you acquire both and buckle up for a pleasantly enjoyable ride of pure fun fantasy.
Recently I had found the majority of my time and focus directed on my own writing, that is until I opened A Discourse In Steel for a quick peek. Now I find myself regretting the time I cannot spare to rush through it's pages.