This was an excellent sequel to the first book, The Bear and the Nightingale, maybe even better as you didn't have to set up the characters and backstory again. It continues the story nicely and really draws you in from the beginning. The writing is excellent, and the story is compelling. The scenery and setting is well described so you feel like you are in the story.
Ms. Arden tells the tale well and makes you want to research the original mythos to delve more into the Russian history and stories. While I wouldn't want to live in this world, she gives it a rich quality that leaves you hanging on every word to capture the magic of the time.
I cannot wait to read the conclusion to this magical trilogy. Well done!