Read my review of the first book in the Triad series, Alliance.
Though I may have felt like the romance arc didn’t get the attention it deserved in the first book of this trilogy, I was more than happy to suspend disbelief and go along with Symon, Deyvid, and Petur being happily in love now that a few months have passed since then. I did wonder whether that would mean smooth sailing during this installment as the author continued to focus more on the excellent worldbuilding and political intrigue she also set up for this series or whether that peace would be rocked when certain secrets kept from book 1 are finally revealed.
The only correct answer, really, is all the above, as personal conflicts for all three men create rifts in both the newly crafted and longstanding relationships among them. Not only was I completely invested in another action-packed tale of adventure, but Z more than makes up for my criticism of the previous book by dropping me into plenty of believable pain and angst here. I do appreciate a storyteller who doesn’t pull any punches, and this trio is thoroughly pummeled. A certain reveal for Deyvid comes much earlier than I expected but intersects nicely with how Symon’s backstory also threatens to upend the happiness these three men have found in each other; meanwhile, Petur is once again a frustratingly attractive mix of competent and stubborn that elevates the tensions involved in every conflict arc, from the romantic to the political.
The conclusion to the romance in this installment is satisfying and hard-won, but now that their own poor decisions have tried to force them apart, it only makes sense that external responsibilities will succeed where their own inner conflicts failed. After all, family interplay and conflicts are also political when royalty is involved, and none of these characters is exempt from the claim it places on their lives. I’m excited to dive into the conclusion of this trilogy even as I’m simultaneously sad that this will be my last encounter with this amazing fantasy world and dynamic characters.