I'm having a nervous break down. seriously. I'm thinking I can't exactly explain the details of why that is without spoiling the book some, so I will give some fairly general reasons.
First off, I know I started out with the Goodreads updates on the first book lamenting the perfection of the characters. If any of you noticed that, well, book two fleshes them out considerably, so I take all that back.
Alec is the perfect combination of smart and capable vs. naive and innocent that makes me want to sit down and have a serious chat about life, love and the universe with the lad. He is one reason I'm freaking out as I near the end of book two of this series.
Sergil is another reason. He's far more seasoned, so I have no illusions about his innocence. I do fear greatly for his stability, though. He's highly intense. Everything matters so much to him and he takes such great pains to show only that nothing means anything. Only he's cracked. Breaking apart at this point, and it's doubtful he can survive the emotional impact of what's happening to Alec.
Micum is their rock, and I fear for him the most because I have my suspicions who the Vanguard really is, and that does not bode well for Micum's survival. At. All. but he's such a *nice* guy. Stable, strong, level-headed. In short, the perfect authorial sacrifice. The one who least deserves to die, and therefore, probably the most likely one not to see the end of the quest. Sucktastic.
And finally, Nysander. On death's door, so you know he's going to survive. But in the end, I fear I might not like the old guy so much. He kept so many secrets. Even lied to people who trusted him. Maybe he really did believe he had reasons, but I don't know if I'll be able to forgive him when it's time for the body count. Plus, he was weak as far as his assistant Thero was concerned and either Thero will be the next series blackened wizard of evil doom (I forget what they're called, but they aren't pretty) or he died a horrible death because his mentor failed him.
Or, and here's where the nervous breakdown comes in, I've got everything wrong and the surprises will kill me. Or, I got it all right and it will rip my heart out to read it. I'm already broken over Alec, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't seen the worst of it yet.
So, well done Lynn. You win this round. You've made me hate on you and admire the crap out of you all at once. This book is killing me. (Which means it's some of the best writing I've come across in quite some time, because if I didn't care, I wouldn't be lamenting it on my blog)