Sacred Scars, by Kathleen Duey
The second book in this trilogy continues the story of wizardry and time warp begun in the first book Skin Hunger (see March 17 review). This is a woven story with the warp being told from the perspective of a girl and the weft being told from the perspective of a boy. In Skin Hunger,their stories are separated by a great span of time, but they both are under the power of the same sadistic, twisted wizard, Soumiss. Soumiss exists in both stories since he has the secret of long life. In Sacred Scars, the time span between the two stories narrows. The book ends with an implicit promise that the two strands will merge in the third book.
Mystery and the constant threat of danger propel this story along at a pleasing pace. In this second volume, the conflict between the abuse of power and the capacity for kindness solidifies. While suffering permeates almost every chapter, it is continually tempered by slivers of tenderness and loyalty. Romance exists but remains primarily on a spiritual plane.
Fans of the first book will be pleased with this one. However, being the second in a trilogy, there is a sense of inertia: the first volume developed the characters but resolution can not come to them until the final book. The anticipation set up in Skin Hunger will have to wait one more volume for satisfaction.