This amazing series picks up approximately a decade in the future with the story of Frella, the younger sister of one of the heroes of the previous collection. Possibly my favorite thing about Steffan’s writing is their ability to create fully fleshed female narrative characters who each have their own strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. Frella is very different from Carival and Kathrael, but she is an intriguing character in her own right, and her story instantly had me hooked.
Frella is a strong female character, but she never falls into the pitfalls of that trope. She gets herself into plenty of trouble, and she relies on allies to help herself get out. Her view of relationships and sexuality is also refreshing, because it would be so easy for this series to turn into a torrid drama of who she ends up with in the end. Instead, I care more about each character growing and evolving for themselves.
The world of Eburosi also continues to expand, showing Steffan is equally skilled at world-building as they are at characterization and plot. I’ve noted that other reviews complain that it takes too long to get to the dragons — I was too busy being entertained by Frella’s shenanigans and meeting her new companions to be bothered.
But don’t worry: When the dragons do arrive, they are absolutely spectacular. This installment works on its own as a complete story, though it does end on a cliffhanger. I have some predictions about how Frella’s story will turn out, and I can’t wait to read more.