Verdict: Good but long.
I almost tapped out at book two. If I'm honest, my main complaint of book 2 – that it’s overwritten – still holds true for this book, except for everything else works so much better this time around. The plot could have turned any which direction, and that made me read on eagerly.
Mare has handed herself over to the king in order to spare her friends, giving Maven a powerful tool to twist against the Scarlet Guard. She isn’t whiny this time – she's utterly trapped, and does what little she can to help her cause. She stays strong in a way that shows how far she’s come, and I found myself liking her again.
The writing is what made it feel long to me, yet at times it's worth it. It might be superfluous, but it’s still beautiful and vivid, full of emotion. Every word evoked a new emotion in me, although it did tend to hit the same nerve until it was deadened… You can see I went back and forth with this one.
I thought it was interesting to show the side of Cameron, a newblood aligned with the Scarlet Guard. While Cam didn't feel like a very important character, she provided a window for the ones I did care about. We even get to see Evangeline’s point of view, and while I couldn’t help but noticed how similar it was to Mare’s, it still helped develop Evangline from cliche to intriguing.
On a side note, I got a bit muddled with the names at times. Mare, Maven, Cam, Cal, Elane, Elara… It’s asking for trouble. I'm wondering if anyone else noticed this, or was it just me?
Anyway, I have faith again in this series! I enjoyed this instalment, and will probably read the next too.
Source: From publishers via NetGalley.com