I’m not entirely sure why this warrants a better average score than the first part of the trilogy; To me it clearly suffers from the middle-book-in-the-trilogy syndrome, in that it doesn’t do much more than setting up all the pieces and players for the final part. In light of that, about 80% of the book could have been stripped away without much consequence.
I was also fairly annoyed with the way the romance is handled. The subtle undercurrent from the first part has been replaced by a nervous teenage attitude which did not do the characters, or their relationship any justice.
The plot was incredibly predictable and did not capture me at all. There are many plotlines still there from the previous installment that have been completely ignored here and I’m hoping they will be resolved in the final chapter.
On a sidenote, even though I cared little to nothing about the tournament, I did get the impression that the battles could have been written better and with more detail. It all felt kind of stale and unexciting.