by Stephen R. Lawhead
from the back cover
The great king, Meldryn Mawr, is dead, and his kingdom lies in ruins. Treachery and brutality rule the land, and Albion is the scene of an epic struggle for the throne. Lewis Gillies returns as Llew, seeking the true meaning behind a mysterious prophecy - the making of a true king and the revealing of a long awaited champion: Silver Hand.
The ancient Celts admitted no spearation between this world and the Otherworld: the two were delicately interwoven, each dependent on the other. The Silver Hand crosses the thin places between this world and that, as Lewis Gillies seeks to learn the secret of the prophecy of The Silver Hand - and to save Albion before it is too late.
This was a rather dark book--very violent, very raw. It's that painful but necessary second book in a trilogy that we must endure to get to the end. And I felt like Stephen Lawhead took a cop-out approach when one of his characters received a disabling injury and then promptly received a special ability that made the disability a non-issue. In doing this, he missed a great opportunity to take on a new perspective and do something different. Unfortunately, I can't say more without giving away important details (sorry).
The Silver Hand does have its virtues, however, and I'm probably being a little more harsh than it deserves. I really enjoyed slowly unraveling the prophesy that had been revealed in book one, and Tegid makes a great narrator (naturally, being a bard). I especially appreciated watching Llew growing and changing from an outside perspective, after having been inside his mind for the previous book.
Stephen Lawhead really is a great author, and I look forward to tackling book three after a break to whip through something a bit lighter!