Aly has survived the summer. Now she returns to the city, and must protect Sarai and Dove even more carefully, in order to set one of them on the throne.
Aly really comes into her own in this novel. The few things about the first novel, where she doesn’t seem suited to a life of slavery, are entirely suitable to this novel. She’s independent, she’s finally trusted, she just needs to make sure she doesn’t become over confident.
I like Dove. She’s sensible, and really has her head on straight. She’s much more likeable than the headstrong Sarai. The other characters, mainly the leaders of the rebellion, also ring true for me.
The love interest with Nawat is really understated and won’t have your teenager going ‘ugh’. Adult readers might wish for a bit more action, but it wouldn’t be fitting with the rest of the novel.
Readers will be unsurprised by the ending, but pleased by it nonetheless. I think there was only one way it could have ended, and so of course it does end in that way. Predictable but true.
Something I possibly should have mentioned about the first book in this series as well is the wonderful world building. Just like The Immortals Quartet, it’s good to see some world outside Tortall for a change. It shows that Pierce has really thought about the whole universe, not just the mainland.