For some reason last time I read this, I not only didn't review it but only gave it 4/5 stars. I also remember almost nothing about it, so it's possible I had the flu or something. Clearly my judgement was impaired.
In any case, this is a fantastic book, partly for the reasons I loved the first one, the thought to world building, the relationship with the gods, and a middle-ages secondary world that actually feels like the middle ages. But mostly it's about the emotional journey of the characters. You root for these people like no others because they're so gloriously imperfect, but still trying.
I love Ista and her path to redemption. The book doesn't shy away from her having done something wrong, even under extreme circumstances, but it's also all about second chances, even for people who don't want them. And, hey, it's about a middle-aged mother and widow who goes off to get away from it all and ends up saving the world. Which is pretty great and not something you see that often, especially in high fantasy.
The reader of the audio version is very good, incidentally. Now I'm off to listen to the third one.