Sarah Rees Brennan is a master at moody atmosphere and tense relationships. Untold is the second of her Lynburn series. In the first book, Kami discovers that the voice she's always heard in her head is not, in fact, imaginary, but belongs to a very real boy. One of the long-lost Lynburns, in fact, the almost-noble family that used to rule her small town. When the Lynburns return, they set the whole village of Sorry-in-the-Vale on its ears, including Kami, who, still reeling from her discovery about Jared, finds that the family are actually sorcerers who ruled through blood sacrifice, and someone wants to reinstate their rule.
In this book (spoiler alert!), Kami and her friends are trying to figure out how to face the dark sorcerer who has split the Lynburn family and divided the town. Kami has severed her bond with Jared, and she thinks he hates her (though its clear to the reader that this is not, in fact, the case). In fact, not much happens for the middle half of the book other than Kami and Jared trying to figure out their relationship.
I didn't mind. I found the story compelling--though as I read through it with a writer's eye I noticed that, after some initial plot fireworks in the first two chapters, months pass before the final, high-stakes confrontation. There's lots of down time, but it doesn't feel like that because Rees is so good at relationship tension. I kept reading to find out what would happen between two characters I'd come to love, and then kept reading because their world imploded. The ending is wrenching and devastating and I'm almost afraid to read book three, after seeing Rees retweet (with, it must be noted, considerable glee), readers' devastated reactions.