I really wanted to like this book. I spent the entire book waiting to like it, thinking, "Okay, now we'll get to the action." The entire thing reads like a prologue to the actual story. And I don't mean a prologue to Wild Magic and adult Numair, but a prologue to Numair's own story, because not much happens in this book.
For what we actually learn, and for how much characters are actually developed, this book could have been condensed down into 100 pages, and then already jumped into the more interesting action of the break between Arram and Ozorne, Arram's flight from Carthak, and his quest to establish himself in Tortall.
If I had to sum up my main complaint it would be this: there are no real stakes. Arram sails through hardship, with all of his mentors taking care of him, friends defending him, and no real character growth on his part. The overarching book has nothing really at risk and no real threat to it. I could't even tell you what the climax of the book is...because a climax usually requires growing tension. This book lacked that. It foreshadowed a million things for the next book, but I don't want to finish a story feeling like it was just a teaser for the next book.
This isn't a bad book, but I would wait until the next one comes out to buy it, so maybe you can read straight through it and into (hopefully) some character development in its sequel.
One shining light: Varice is awesome. I really appreciated having a smart, capable female character who is so different from the other Tortall heroines. I appreciated that the story showed that a female can be flirty and charming and still smart and strong willed. It made me sad for her future because she's the best part of the series so far.