The Black Shriving, the second book out of five in The Chronicles of the Black Gate series is a good installment for the series but it suffers from a lot of things. First of all, the main plot itself moved at a snail pace, making this book seems like it was only a preparation for the next book. Other than Audsley’s storyline, every character’s POV has become utterly predictable, especially for Tharok as everything he did basically follows the same storytelling direction with the previous book. I also don’t like when my epic fantasy read is full of romances, a bit is okay but here it was just too much for my taste. The romances happened in every POV except Audsley and Tharok’s. Some of the passages in my opinion also needed some editing as there were a lot of scenes that were drawn out for too long without providing a lot of importance to the quality of the book.
It’s not of course all negative, Tucker’s action scenes are great and his prose is engaging. In my opinion, Audsley’s storyline alone was the true saving grace of this book as his story dealt with a lot of world-building factor that make the lore in the Ascendant Empire became richer. His story also weren’t hindered by all the romances looming around all the other POV’s, especially Tiron’s and Iskra’s where I can’t help but wish they would just stop thinking about their love interest and actually proceed with the storyline.
Overall, The Black Shriving is a good book but it fell short in comparison to the promises that the first book provided. The book was equally full of up and down for me; some parts were great and some parts were not. I will maybe continue to the third book of the series but not immediately. Don’t let my review discourage you from starting this series though, I’ve heard that the series only truly shine once it reached the third book and I know I fall on the unpopular side with my opinion on this book. This means there's a huge chance that the third book will redeem the series and also that you'll have a better time with this book than me.