I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This book was an absolute delight. From the beginning to the end, I found myself excited for the next chapter, page, and sentence. I am so glad that Aiken decided to pepper in more of the little things that make romance grow throughout the novel and appriciated that this was truly an adult book from beginning to end. I feel like this (the second in the series) was far superior to the first novel. The characters had significant motivation, and their stories made much more sense than The Blacksmith Queen.
The biggest critique I have is that the description of the setting is still very lacking. This may be a personal preference; I love being able to see exactly what the author sees, not imagining a scene a certain way for 10 chapters to have something newly described that changes the frame of the whole scene. A good example is the cliff near the end that isn't mentioned until it is relevant to the plot, when it (in my opnion) should have been mentioned when initially describing the battlefield.
Note to the publisher, page 342:
"She was using slave labor to build her tunnel *Gemma seems like it should read Keeley based on the conversation and who's speaking*.