Okay, so before I get stuck into the review for this, a little warning: I will refer to things that happened in the previous books, including plot points, because if you're wondering if you should read this book you should definately read or have read them first and not gripe at me about plot points from that. I will hide plot points/revelations from this book behind spoiler text though so don't worry.
So, in 'Mindbender', we follow on from the previous book almost immediately again, with Alexander and his friends having just arrived on Ithilian through the Reishi Gate, trying to create an alliance with the Island, whilst Isabel and Abigail are still held prisoner (albeit comfortable prisoners) in the Reishi Fortress, trying to free themselves and also win them over to Alexander's cause.
I liked the switch up and change in the narrative in this book, with the action switching frequently between Alexander's group and Isabel and Abigail. Wells improved writing style from 'Sovereign Stone' continued here, although he does continue to repeat the same descriptions A LOT for certain characters - not so much (that I noticed) for people like Anatoly, but a new character called Wren is almost continually referred to as "waifish" which is a tad annoying.
Character wise, there were some nice new additions to the cast: Conner Ithilian, who was met briefly at the end of the last book, appears more here and is quite a nice addition to the group. Jataan and Boaberous also appear throughout the book this time having joined Alexander's group at the end of 'Sovereign Stone' - the only thing that slightly bothers me however is that they are both just hugely formidable warriors, particularly Jataan, and so battles from now on are a lot easier and there isn't as much an element of danger as there was before and characters like Anatoly who was a major warrior before and guardian of Alexander kind of becomes superfluous now.
Plot wise, I enjoyed the story of this book. It had an obvious purpose, even if it was probably a bit drawn out in the overall scheme of the series. It was quite suspensful and chilling (I would NOT like to encounter the revenants for a start!), and I found there weren't as many blindingly obvious plot revelations in this book as there were in previous books - there were one or two that I half-predicted shortly before they came to pass but nothing that I predicted a book or two back. I had a feeling one of the girls would become a wyvern rider during their stay in the fortress, particularly after the focus on the wyverns so it wasn't too surprising when Abigail became one. I did not predict Alexander finding the sword Mindbender (mostly because, you know, it hadn't been mentioned at all before this). I did think that Mindbender was a bit of a deus ex machina again. In each book so far, Alexander has found an all-powerful ancient artefact taht grants him amazing power, and Mindbender is another example - by touching the sword he can predict what the enemy will do in battle and so counter their moves and he can create giant illusions - it just seems a bit much to me and, yeah, like I said, a bit of a deus ex machina. I only wonder now if Alexander will continue to gain an amazing ancient artefact of huge power in each book because if he does it's gonna get a bit ridiculous. Also - at the end they've basically invented a kind of a-bomb-without-the-radiation-probably type weapon... hmm...
Overall though, I enjoyed the book a lot again, probably more than I did 'Sovereign Stone' and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.