(This review may contain spoilers).
(Warnings for potential triggering material).
While I haven’t read the first book in this series, I found it really easy to read this book and understand more or less what was going on… even though I had some very mixed feelings by the end of this book.
I was surprised that so much of the book was in Jardir’s country, since the blurb seemed to imply that the main focus of the book would be on Arlen. I did find Jardir to be a really interesting character… though I felt that a lot of his relationships with the people around him were glossed over. While it was good to see what his society was like in regards to hunting the demons. I did like seeing the politics and how Inevera manipulated situations to place Jardir into power. I didn’t understand everything about the different castes of people, but I could see how her manipulations took effect.
I did feel that rape was used as a plot device in this book. It seemed like a lot of the female characters went through that, to the point that it seemed even the strongest ones had to go through it. I was actually extremely disappointed in how things turned out with Renna… since even though she developed into a strong character by the end, she was only able to do that because she was saved by one of the other male characters.
I liked being able to see different parts of the world… and although some of Jardir’s actions were especially wrong (rape being used by his soldiers as a plot device again, despite adding to the army taking many years even once they got a woman pregnant), I really liked the idea of all men being brothers in the night.
I didn’t really like Leesha as a character… but then again, I also strongly disliked Renna’s sisters. I did feel that Leesha’s character wasn’t really explored and rather than coming across as intelligent, she just came across as childish and someone who clearly didn’t care about the personal feelings about other people.
I found the idea of the Coreling princes interesting and I would have liked to see a bit more of them. While it was interesting to see the differences between the two societies… but there weren’t many sympathetic characters on either side.