I FINALLY finished. This one was a struggle for every word. I had found that in the first book (the Unexpected Apprentice) the start dragged a bit, but once the story started to move it had me pulled in and I barreled toward the last page. Not so much in the follow-up. Normally, I would have just put it down and called it a loss. However, I really wanted to know the end of the story so I struggled through.
The premise of the books is essentially "a little hobbit girl goes on an adventure". There are great liberties taken with Tolkien except there isn't a ring - it's a magical scroll that contains all of creation and the "bad guy" is one of the "shining ones" a creator who wants it destroyed at all costs so he can finally have some rest. And the little hobbit (er, smallfolk) girl is the only one who can touch the scroll without getting burnt so she must bear the burden of this "treasure" to the end. I could go into the synopsis further, but that pretty much sums it up.
This shouldn't be a surprise, but I don't recommend this one. If you want to read a book in this series, read the first one...and try to not be lured into getting the second one. The first is a much further departure from Tolkien...this one is really just a badly written quest. No offense to Ms. Nye. I rather liked her comedic forays with Robert Aspirin...this solo effort at a series just doesn't flow for me.