The second book in a trilogy of alternate universe Buffy: the Vampire Slayer story set at the end of Season Six.

Publication year: 2004
Page count: 258
Format: print
Publisher: Pocket Books

The first book ended in a battle where Anya was able to read Giles’ spell that was suppose to send Willow’s coven members to different places on Earth, and so diminish her power and especially her ability to get more power. The spell was somewhat successful, sending five members away. At the same time, Willow was battling her demonic cat demon which had turned against her. But when the cat demon tried to kill Buffy, Willow killed the demon.

Willow’s remaining coven members aren’t happy about it. They say that Willow didn’t protect them like she had promised. Frustrated, Willow gives in to their demands and tries to bring back the vanished coven members. She’s able to bring back only three of them. She also creates an even more powerful underling to protect her coven: a golem. In order to make the golem more powerful and to make sure it has protective impulses towards the coven, Willow binds a dead spirit to it: Riley Finn. In this universe, Riley and his wife were killed shortly after their visit to Sunnydale.

At the start of the first book, when Willow and Giles battled each other, Giles was paralyzed from the waist down. Now, he’s feeling insecure and has trouble focusing on the problem at hand. However, Anya has been working on a healing spell and Giles is, of course, anxious to use it. The gang also doesn’t know what Willow wants; they just try to minimize the damage she’s doing to Sunnydale. When Giles finds out that his spell has sent some of the coven members into danger, he’s very guilty and second guesses himself often.

In this book, Willow clearly needs her coven to give her strength. She ends up trying to make them feel safer instead of just threatening them, like she did in the first book. She also recruits an old friend: Amy. Amy turns out to have quite a lot of resentment towards the gang because they didn’t turn her back to a human earlier. She only helps Willow because Willow promises to her that when Tara is back, Amy will be the biggest witch in Sunnydale. Because Willow will retire.

Willow is also trying to blame everything on Buffy. She’s clearly on the road of not taking responsibility from her actions. However, the Ghost of Tara is constantly questioning her decisions.

Unfortunately, the second book has a lot of repetitive elements from the first. I’m not even sure if the second book is needed. However, I was again happy to read about Buffy and the rest of the gang.

The books ends in a cliffhanger, which is again in a climatic battle.