I can't say enough good about this book. I loved the characters and how they developed over the course of the story. The audible performance was amazi..Show More »ng! I loved this!! I can't wait for the next one.
4.5 stars for the story. Very good! Maybe even better than the first book in the series. This book is fast paced, funny, snarky, suspenseful, occasion..Show More »ally poignant, and fairly engrossing. It's family-safe and can be heard in public (no sex or swearing, if memory serves, but some bloody battles).
Marci the Mage (move over, Merlin) and Julius the truly "noble" dragon (kind and wise) are back, even stronger, and more layered. There's a hint of romance, too.
Rachel Aaron creates strong secondary characters. Ghost really added a LOT to the plot, as did Amelia the A-Clutch dragon Mage. A-Melia. Julius's eldest sibling. The heir. The rum-loving lush. Fun character!
We also see Bethseda the Broodmare, Bob / Brohomir the Seer, Chelsea the Shade, Justin the warrior, etc. We finally meet the Lady of the Lake -- Algonquin, and her invincible dragon hunter, Vann Jager. The dragon-shifter daughters of the legendary Three Sisters are back: Estella the Seer, Svena, and Katya who became friends with Julius and Marci in the first book.
Villains act with credible motivations. Battles are vivid. Justice is fairly satisfying, but not quite.
Without resorting to info-dumps, we learn more about dragon origins, and about spirits (especially Ghost the cat spirit and Algonquin) and more about Heartstriker patriarch Quetzlcoatl, murdered by his own daughter Bethsesda.
Minor Quibbles: Just a bit too long — but I like audiobooks of 16 hours or fewer — with a little more internal dialogue than I like. Some of the internal reflection felt like noise — thoughts and feelings and plans I could have figured out for myself, by inference. The last chapter's political discussion about the council went on too long, I thought. I'd have preferred an epilogue instead. (Katya?)
Excellent narration by Vikas Adam. Easy on the ears, and he makes it easy to differentiate between characters without going overboard and becoming annoyingly affected. I read and listened, interchangeably.