In the sequel to For the Killing of Kings, the savage Naor clans prepare to march on the heart of the Allied Realms while Rylin infiltrates the highest of the enemy ranks to learn their secrets and free hundreds of doomed prisoners. His ailing mentor Varama leads the ever-dwindling Altenerai corps in a series of desperate strikes to cripple the Naor occupiers, hoping for a relief force that may not come in time to save what’s left of the city and her charges.
Just as the first novel threw a number of fantasy elements and tropes into the story, Upon the Flight of the Queen keeps all of that layered goodness and goes for more. This novel throws in more surprises and fantastic elements into the mix...As a writer, Jones is clearly delighting in his invention, complicating and deepening his world’s tapestry ... entertaining fun. Sieges, infiltrations, dragon riding, high magic, duels, and larger than life characters trying trying to be big damn heroes of their own story. Jones does an excellent job not only giving plenty for Elenai, Rylin and their older mentors plenty to do but to increase tensions, problems, and extending the canvas and scope of the world and the people who inhabit it. Dark things happen in the book, and its not easy sometimes to read about a population under tyranny but the heroic optimistic focus of the first book abides in this second. It would have been easy to go grimdark in the second novel, especially in the Alantris scenes, but the novel keeps its ethos and the novel is stronger for it ... continues to show the promise and strength of the author’s world, characters, style, and ethos in an excellently readable package. This is a middle novel, and although it does more than tread water waiting for the concluding volume, you still can’t start here—but readers of the first book will be well satisfied with this second installment.
Varama’s guerilla resistance, and the spectacular subterfuge of Rylin, are entertaining enough on their own; add in the search for allies and the strange things hidden by the shifting lands, and the web of the tale becomes quite epic ... This straightforward political fantasy is bolstered by the strong character relationships and an interesting world to explore, though background characters and races are often no more than one-note set dressing.