1. The Glasswright's Progress by Mindy Klasky.
I read the first book last month, and had the same problem as I did with this one. I kept wanting to put it down, and yet I kept wanting to read it. I think I'm just not engaging with Rai/Rani/Ranita. I don't feel her passion that could drive her do to the things she's done, and while this one is better than the first I still feel like Rani is...too passive? Following the path of her fate rather than fully engaging or embracing it. As for the rest of the characters, I think I have seen them before. The beggar girl with the natural skills to lead her little band of children. The young prince struggling to rule despite the counselors who would rather control the kingdom, and the old, wise counselors looking out for him whether he knows it or not. The evil, corrupt neighbor king, the scheming, spoiled younger brother, the shadowy underground brotherhood that aims to rule the world. I think this will be the last of the series for me, even though I have the next two as well. Reading time is too precious to waste on ambivalence.
2. Hunters of the Red Moon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
This one was an easy read--it kept moving along like the Darkover novels. I did find myself skipping some descriptive detail, though, and the final fight scene? Exponential growth in fighting ability for the main characters. There is something to be said for desperation, but my 'I believe' button got some heavy use. Fun but no keeper.