YOU KNOW YOUR LIFE IS BAD WHEN YOU MISS YOUR DAYS AS A POISON TASTER…
With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she’d been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can’t help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don’t think it’s for the better….
Despite the turmoil, she’s eager to start her magic training—especially as she’s been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia’s throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.
If that wasn’t bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies….
Based on a lot of reviews I was worried I wouldn’t like this sequel, and while I wished there was more Valek, and Yelena’s recklessness does get her into a lot of trouble that probably could have been handled better, I still thoroughly enjoyed this chapter of the story. The exploration of Sitia is really interesting and Snyder’s wild building continues to impress. It’s also nice to see Yelena start to forge her own path in the world.
What I liked most about this book was watching Yelena decide who she wants to be, since it’s pretty much the first time she’s not being forced into a role. Her interactions with her family are really interesting, and I don’t think I would have been able to handle her mother as well as she did. The relationship with her brother was probably the most complex so far and it was really nice to watch them work through it in an organic way.
We meet so many new characters in this book, and they are all super intriguing, especially seeing how they all end up by the end of the book.
What I thought was one of the best and worst parts of this book though was Valek. I missed him, but understand why Snyder had them separated for a large segment of the story. However, when they are together you don’t really get the sense that they are Together. There was so much dialogue between them in the first book, and this one it’s them having sex and then a paragraph of Yelena saying she’s updated him on whats going on in her life, and then them having sex again. Their relationship just seems so focused on the physical and it lacks the strength that they had come to embody in the first book.
Yelena’s investigation of her magic is interesting though, and the more that is revealed about magic, The Commander, Valek, and the two countries, the more questions emerge about what is influencing what. I’m hoping we’ll get some good answers in the last book!