The 1976 follow-up to The Coming of the Horseclans continues the story of the nearly immortal Milo and Mara as they face new challenges in a post-apocalyptic world. Having secured an empire along what was once the Carolinas, Milo is waging a war of expansion in the south. After discovering that a enemy further to the south (hinted at to be the Florida area) has massed a huge army, Milo must band together with his former opponents and wage a war of attrition against this new threat - a threat lead by a centuries old witch with ties the ancient pre-apocalyptic technologists. Meanwhile, Mara manages the political situation back in the Karoleenos (Carolinas) capital city and encounters the child of a long lost love.
While the 2nd Horseclans book is still packed with action, it goes considerably further than the first in developing the characters and begins to expand on (what I assume) what will be story lines in future books. It also reveals more of the socio-political climate in a territorial area ranging from modern day Pittsburgh down to southern Florida, opening up the world of the Horseclans. Unlike the first book, which to me felt like one disjointed battle scene after another, Swords of the Horseclans goes further in setting up the "why" and explaining who's fighting who, and for what reason. What Swords of the Horseclans lacks in bloodthirsty violence (although there is still plenty of that), it makes up for in plot development.
Like it's predecessor, Swords of the Horseclans is total escapist science-fantasy. No Isaac Asimov or Tolkien here, but it's good for what it is.