It's really nice to have a series worth getting excited about again. Karl Schroeder's Virga series has actually managed to make me interested in an ongoing S.F. epic. I think the last time that happened was David Brin's first Uplift War trilogy, so it's been awhile.
The second book in the series, Queen of Candesce, is quite an interesting departure from the first book. Schroeder only retains a single character from the first novel, Venera Fanning, and picks up her story immediately after the events of the prior novel where she was left stranded in the air between planets in the artificial galaxy of Virga.
She eventually lands on the world of spire, a decaying cylinder encompassing a horde of feuding micro nations. This setting allows Schroeder to shift the action from the first books waring fleets to some far more intimate court politics, while still leaving plenty of room to find interesting uses for gravity. This is an excellent book that proudly continues the promise of the first novel in the series.