I really enjoy Michelle Sagara’s books. I think she does a great job creating characters that you can relate to. You feel for Kaelynn, Severn, and in this book you learn and grow to understand the Berani. I would really like to give this a 3.5
I still disagree with how this series is marketed. It appears to be a romance or YA fiction. There is not romance in the first or second book although there is a deepening of the friendship and understanding of past issues between Severn and Kaelynn. They are good books. This series could be YA fiction in the sense that it is coming of age tale, there is no swearing or sexually explicit material, really any sex at all, but it is stronger in content than some other YA fiction. It’s appeal I believe reaches to an adult audience.
Michelle Sagara had strong world building in her first book but she continues it while exploring the Berani Court and culture. This book deals with court and political intrigue along with a more intricate understanding of Sagara’s magic system. Kaelynn continues to develop her magic out of necessity of her life and brings her in contact with characters of power.
Kristine Hvam I think does a good job of differentiating her characters and capturing the characters personality. I have not read the books, but I think Hvam does a good enough job that I look specifically to listen to these books rather than read them.
I enjoyed this book and would encourage those that liked Sagara’s first book in this series to continue. Ignore book covers in this series and the fact it is published by Harlequin. Whether or not it is published by Harlequin it is not one, but it is a good fantasy.