I was a little reluctant to read this sequel, and I'm not really sure why. The first book was good enough. Perhaps I only needed to know the setup. The title gives away the plot anyway, right? But Better Half was going through the whole series at an alarming rate - devouring each book one after another. So eventually I picked it up. Yup, there sure is a burning bridge.
As far as second books go, this one was just mediocre. All action before the title scene is excellent, including the very tense, hold-your-breath moments right before. After the bridge burns isn't nearly as tense and exciting unfortunately, and then leads up to a cliffhanger at the end of the book.
What is fun about this book is the race of Skandians - their devoted loyalty unto themselves first is amusing. Morgarath's army of Wargals and Kalkara is downright terrifying. We also see growth from the main characters of Will and Halt, as they endure more tests of their skill and faith. I was also pleased to see the inclusion of girls to this plot more than in the first book.
I do not feel I NEED a cliffhanger to get me to pick up the next book, but I suppose it does help to grab and keep readers. Will have to see how long it takes me to pick up the third.