Noonshade, book two in the Chronicles of the Raven series by James Barclay. It takes place only seconds after the first book ended.
After just saving the hides of everyone in Balaia, The Raven find themselves in even more danger. Their casting of Dawnthief has created a dimensional rip in the sky, through which dragons can come to set fire to everything. The Raven, the Xeteskian High Mage Styliann and the entire Brood Kaan now have to find a way to close the rip, before the other Broods decide Balaia is a great place for their fire practice.
As always Barclay doesn’t disappoint. The Raven have to immediately get back on their feet, after loosing a member, to save the world. Again. And there are more problems than just the rip and the threat of Dragons. The Wesmen have lost the power of the Wytchlords but still have the numbers to threaten the College of Julatsa. And this is a burden for Ilkar, Elf and one of the founding members of The Raven, because he’s a Julatsan mage. The pain he feels, he represses to save Balaia.
Thraun faces a terrible loss and is withdrawn into himself. He helps and looks out for The Raven, but his heart is broken. And so is his soul. The animal within is trying to take over his human mind, and he doesn’t want to fight it any more. Denser is struggling with what he’s accomplished. He’s cast Dawnthief, but in casting it, he created the rip in the sky and put them in even more danger. His life’s goal has been reached and he feels empty. Baron Blackthorne and Baron Gresse find themselves the only Barons with a sense of honour and have to join the fight to save Balaia, while their homes are either destroyed or ransacked.
The members of The Raven are not at their best and Barclay shows this perfectly. They are out of their element and are threatening to break apart. They all try to stay together, after all they are The Raven, but sometimes things get heated. The arrogance of Styliann and stubbornness of the Wesmen both make it even harder. But The Raven never lose hope. They can’t. The weight of the world is once again on their broad shoulders even though they are flawed like all humans and Elves.