Also, why is the priest who in the last book admired/resented the hero and became sort-of friends with him now describing him as terrifying and inhuman?
Finally - this may be a personal thing (I don't know if anyone else feels the same), but shoving the demons and magic out of your story's world to make it soft-science-fiction cheapens it, because you are intentionally lessening the world it is set in.
Dear Elizabeth Moon, please keep your characters consistent between books. Each single book has wonderfully consistent characterisation - which is completely undermined by the fact that the characters change completely from one book to the next. Your crotchety, arrogant lady from the first book, who spends it developing a grudging respect and friendship with the heroine, suddenly becomes much more competent at reading situations, firm friends with the heroine, and goes from arrogant to realistic - between the end of the first book and the beginning of the second. They're two different people with the same name.
Is it really asking too much to expect authors to look over their books before they write a sequel? Just to make sure they're still writing the same character, or the same genre?