The second book in the Soldier Son series. I can't really describe the plot without giving away much of the surprise, but suffice it to say this is an excellent instalment of a series which I would unreservedly recommend; I continue to be impressed by Hobb's talents for description, plotting and, above all, character invention. And now I have to wait until July for the third book -- hrmph!
(My only complaint? The paperback edition is the same size as the hardback, much larger than the paperback version of the first book, so I can't shelve them together...)