This book continues from Starlighter, when Taushin, the prophesised prince from the black egg hatches. He's gotten a hold of Koren and is using chains to force her to love him. Meanwhile, Jason and Elyssa are trying to free the slaves while Randall and Tibalt have returned to Darksphere/Major Four to try and raise an army.
The tightly written storyline from Starlighter continues in Diviner, and I don't think I need to say anymore about it. What interests me are the characters and themes in the book.
As for characters, well, my favourite character is shaping up to be Elyssa. She's no Mary-Sue, but she's got a lot of admirable qualities. Koren, on the other hand, I wanted to slap at various points of time. Sometimes, that girl just wallows in self-pity. On the other hand, the other Starlighter, Cassibrie, is interesting, and I wonder what she's going to do.
On the other hand, Randall has moved from the selfish and stuck up boy first seen in Starlighter to a courageous person. Jason, having been good from the start, has been maturing through his journey. He makes not a few mistakes, but he always shows that his heart is in the right place (okok, I admit that Koren has her heart in the right place most of the time. I have to reasonable explanation as to why she sometimes irks me).
Two of the themes in this series are love and free will. Others include sacrifice and courage, but I think that the idea of love and free will is the most prominent and interesting in this book. Thanks to Taushin, we get to here his twisted version of how chains can mean love. Koren, on the other hand, has to resist Taushin's seductive logic with what she knows to be true - that you can't force love.
The problem, therefore, lies in ignorance. If let's say, someone who doesn't know better wants to play with fire, is it better to place chains on him to prevent him from hurting himself? Is this called Love? And when you expand that concept to cover placing chains on someone to teach him to love (all outcomes are supposed to be positive here), it does get really confusing.
Here's what I think. I agree that love cannot be forced. I think that one of the reasons the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was placed in the garden was to let Adam and Eve choose to love God and obey his command by giving them the choice to do otherwise. God is a God of love, but He also wants us to love Him using our own free will, not using any sort of chains.
Needless to say, a book this thought-provoking should be read. Combined with a strong plot and well-rounded characters and there isn't much of a reason why you shouldn't read this book.
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for a free and honest review.