This the second in the series that began with The Forest of Wonders. This one starts with Raffa, Kuma and Garith with their animal friends in the wilderness hiding from the Chancellor. They each decide it is time to return to their families, but when they do they are met with unpleasant surprises. Soon Raffa is using his apothecary skills to try to prevent another attack on the peasants by the evil Chancellor.
This book is pretty similar to the first in the series. There are some good interpersonal relationships, and some interesting chemistry. It ends on a pretty bad cliff hanger, so don't even try it until you are willing to commit to the next book as well. This is a decent middle-grade fantasy series, but no star. (309 p.)