Now that our three heroes are in a solid relationship, it was time to shake things up a bit. It would have been easy for the author to focus on a more character-driven story, but I love how they don’t let the readers forget that war is coming. Times are changing, and our heroes have to grow up and adapt along with them.
Family is a major theme in this installment, and Carival travels to her old home to face her mother. This reunion was equally painful and poignant. Steffan balances it wonderfully with the introduction to Andoc’s mother.
The handfasting ceremony in this book felt a little self-indulgent on the part of the author, but in retrospect, that’s an issue on my part and stems from what is traditionally “normalized” in fiction. Steffan does excellent work in breaking the mold, both in the world of the Eburosi Chronicles and our own.
The shapeshifter plotline culminates with the political plotline, and both are resolved to my great satisfaction. I’m completely in love with this world, and while I know Carival, Andoc, and Senovo’s story is over, I’m looking forward to exploring more Steffan has to offer.