A Matter of Doubt is the second book in the Magic Incarnate series by Nicole Zoltack. It starts six months after the end of A Question of Faith, and it maintains the level of intensity right from the start.
Crystal wakes up in her coffin, and tries to use her magic to move the wood and dirt. But nothing happens. Her magic is gone. Not just hidden away, waiting to be tapped like before. It's gone, completely empty. Fortunately, Gavin shows up to rescue Crystal. And fill her in on the events of the six months following her sacrificing herself to save everyone she loves during the battle between witches and shamans that threatened to end the world.
The pair hides out for a bit, trying to regroup and formulate a plan for anything. They decide to visit the witches, after all, they created Crystal, they should be able to help her. But they cant. They don't know why her powers are gone, but there is one person who might. But they'll have to search mightily to find the Seer. And on the way, the duo meets Shira, a shaman, and the trio keeps on the trek to locate the Seer.
There aren't many answers from the Seer, but that won't deter Crystal. She's on a mission, and nothing is going to stop her. Not trying to defeat Gavin's father the witch hunter. Not trying to teach Gavin how to use his magic. Not helping Shira to find her second form. And probably not Crystal's new ability to shift form, even though her ability to shift could put her life and sanity in jeopardy.
The book was great. The intensity that was built up in A Question of Faith never fell, and the story didn't disappoint. Gavin got more fleshed out, and the addition of his acceptance and beginning usage of his magic only added to his character. Crystal grows too, struggling with the loss of her magic, the loss of her friends and family who think her dead, and the uncertainty of where she's supposed to go from here. The addition of Shira was lovely. She's a fledgling shaman, one who hasn't found her second form, and that learning is thrust upon her in a most abrupt way.
I'm recommending this book to the same groups I did the first one. And the knowledge that Ms. Zoltack is busily working on book three helps to ease my frustration at how this book ends. Don't get me wrong, it's a brilliant place to end this section of the story, but it's also incredibly frustrating because you need to know what happens next. But it's going to be worth it. I've got the faith that Crystal is beginning to doubt.