Compared to Camelot Burning, the sequel definitely surpassed most, if not all, of my expectations.
I found Avalon Rising to be a lot more enjoyable than its predecessor. There aren't as much technical terms this time around, as Vivienne seems to be more focused on the mission the Lady of the Lake left for her near the end of the first book and helping Camelot's remaining refugees rebuild after the war with Morgan Le Fay. Soon, Vivienne finds out that some of the knights, including her brother and Marcus, have been missing for several weeks on their quest to find the Holy Grail and Avalon. She also finds out that Jerusalem, where the alchemist Azur resides, is attacked by the Black Knight and his men. Wanting to offer her help, Vivienne decides to leave earlier than what the Lady of the Lake originally planned, finding out that in doing so, she may have placed Marcus's life in danger.
The second Metal & Lace novel is a lot more adventurous than the first one - Vivienne teams up with the castle blacksmith to find the missing knights, which is eventually intercepted by Merlin (who tends to be more of an obstacle this time around rather than actually helping Vivienne). They are then sent to free the Fisher King in the Perilous Lands, which actually results in several fantastic tests/trials for Vivienne to try and prove her worth to free the Fisher King and reveal the coordinates to Avalon. The trials that Vivienne goes through in Avalon Rising to find the knights and to reveal Avalon's coordinates almost felt like a female version of Percy Jackson in a medieval-esque world.
Vivienne also underwent a few changes as a character. She seems more temperamental, but is definitely extremely determined to accomplish what she wants to accomplish. A fantastic quality in a heroine, since Vivienne probably would have spent her time running away from pursuers who also want the coordinates to Avalon rather than doing something extremely interesting (like trying to resist using magic despite the pull).
Avalon Rising was a fantastic companion to Camelot Burning - I definitely look forward to reading the next book with the major cliffhanger Kathryn Rose leaves us with. Might I ask to review-nap this until the next book come out?