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After Angra’s defeat, Meira’s people find themselves deep in debt to Cordell. The king commands payment in the form of jewels from Winter’s mines, so Meira sends her weary citizens to work. What they unearth is far more dangerous. In a dangerous cavern miners discover the lost chasm of magic. While Meira believes opening the chasm will unleash the decay on all of Primoria, Theron, her betrothed sees it as the world’s only hope. When Meira leaves on a mission to gather allies for Winter, those closest to her choose their own courses rather than her commands. She must sort friend from traitor before her enemy destroys her.
This was a tough read for me. Some of the things that really drew me to the first book actually kind of repelled me from this one. I don’t want to give away the plot, but there are some shifts in allegiance that felt… I don’t know. Forced? I can see why Raasch chose to take the story there, because it really sets up a huge conflict for the next book. I think I really liked Meira in the first book for her verve and her commitment to what she believed was right. This time, I don’t know… she seemed lost at certain moments when I really needed her to lead. It definitely didn’t hook me the way the first book did.
There were two things I liked, though. I really liked the team of soldiers Mather trains up and especially the girl among them. I think she hit that note for me that I lacked in Meira. Also Ceridwen, the rebel from the kingdom of Summer. I was definitely a huge fan of hers.
Overall, I feel really torn about this book. I wish I liked the major characters more. I like that the plot has sort of opened up into this world-wide stage of politics and alliances. Will I read book three? I’m not sure yet. I might listen to the audiobook version because I can do that at work.
Mild profanity used infrequently.
Brief kissing. In one kingdom, casual sex is a high value of the culture. The king is found holed up with several partners and offers to provide partners to the envoy from Winter as well. We know what they’ve been up to, but we don’t get a scene showing any of it. Meira’s pretty disgusted, refuses to have anything to do with the Summer king as much as possible.
Battle scenes. In one, a woman is killed, pierced through the chest by a sword. In another, a woman uses powerful magic to destroy enemies. A man is decapitated. Some people are sold into slavery in the kingdom of Summer.