I actually had the luck to read both Blood of the Prophet, and it's predecessor, back to back. So I can honestly tell you that this book is a stellar follow up to the first in the series. It's not often that a second book captures my attention more than the original, but in this case that was absolutely true. Nazafareen and Darius completely stole my heart in this book, and the ending just left me breathless for more.
See, my biggest issue with the first book was that it moved along so quickly that there wasn't a lot of time for character development. There was so much that needed to be set up, so many puzzle pieces to lay, that I felt like Nazafareen and Darius just didn't get enough time to flourish. In Blood of the Prophet that was easily remedied. These two felt like real people to me this time around, which made this book all the more exciting to read. I could see the link between them, and not the man made one, grow and strengthen. I also saw huge growth on an individual level in each of them too. It was wonderful to see them finally become the characters that I knew they should be, and even more fun to watch their adorably awkward banter with one another. Ah, budding love.
Points also go to this second book because Kat Ross didn't feel the need to rehash all of the things that she had already laid in place. The pacing here, therefore, is much better. Action meshes beautifully with story line, and it makes for a read that is engrossing without feeling too rushed. Best of all, there's a lot more of the history of the Druj uncovered here. In fact, the amount of curve balls that Ross dropped throughout this book had me on edge. If Nazafareen felt blindsided, I was right there with her. Bravo.
There is a lot dealt with in this book, but the main point always winds its way back around to the idea of good vs. evil. Whether that's an inherent trait, or something that is fostered through ages of deceit. I loved how many realistic issues Ross was able to bring into this story. From prostitution, to slavery, back around to misogyny. Wrapped up in Fantasy or not, these are still shown as very real questions of morality, and it's intriguing to watch the characters deal with these things in their own ways.
So, final verdict? This is an absolutely stunning second book and, truth be told, I enjoyed it much more than the first in the series. Blood of Prophet definitely deserves your time and, therefore, so does the entire Fourth Element series so far!