Building on the brilliantly subtle groundwork laid in 2009's Dragon in Chains, Fox's Chinese fantasy series continues as the now-unchained dragon threatens human civilization. Han, the one-time apprentice scribe who freed the dragon, is still tied to her mind. The young emperor, in exile on the island of Taishu, finds the beast is both protector and jailer, while general-turned-pirate Li Ton discovers the hard way that he has other, more immediate enemies from his past. When a sea goddess intervenes, she is no friend of the dragon, but she may be even less kind to the people. Readers who enjoyed Fox's delicate descriptions and leisurely prose will be thrilled to find more of the same, along with greater depth of story as the numerous characters are pulled together by schemes and destiny.