There are changes afoot. Our "villain-in-waiting" from the first book returns and seems to be leading some kind of renaissance plot for the society and has plans for Saba of his own. As in the first book, he's still too much of a cipher. We don't get a sense of who he is or what he's for and against. Saba spends more time with him this go around, but we still don't get much of a sense of what he's all about, other than at the most artificial level. He's also set up as the third side of a potential romantic triangle with Jack, but that kind of fizzles too.
The most significant addition character-wise is that Saba's twin brother Lugh (who is offscreen for most of the first book as the victim of a kidnapping) is front and center here. His relationship with Saba is interesting for the first few chapters but then becomes tiresome. He's disappointed in the world outside their homestead, but they can't go back and they can't seem to go forward, at least not in the direction Lugh wants to go, both geographically and personally. After building him up as the person who means the world to Saba in the first book, he's sorely disappointing here. It's easy to understand his fear and frustration, but it also becomes a little two dimensional because it seems overplayed by the end of the book.
I'm probably being harsher than I intend. The work Moira Young has done to create this world and these characters is superb and I have a hunch she'll wrap it up beautifully in the third book. This one just seemed to be more of a stop-gap between books 1 and 3 than a stand-alone story. It was almost as if she didn't want to give too much away in this one so we come back for more in the final installment. I'll come back for more anyway. And I wouldn't "not recommend" this book. But I thought the first one was stronger in terms of plot arc and character development.