I am just loving this series more with each book! This was so good. I love these wonderful characters, and I love their beautiful romance.
This one had a lot less intrigue and mystery and danger. Still a bit, mostly near the end, but it was overall more focused on the relationship between Varazda and Damiskos, how they were going to make it work, and Varazda’s family. This time, the conflict was mostly lots of things trying to interfere with their relationship, and the author did a great job of making me feel the frustration he and Dami were feeling (I do mean that in a good way, I wasn’t frustrated with the book, just frustrated on behalf of the characters).
I just seriously adore this romance. What these two have is so lovely and beautiful. They’re so caring and understanding of each other. So gentle with each others’ feelings and needs. And I especially love the portrayal of a character who has a limited range of sexual activities he’s comfortable with and a partner who is 100% ok with that, perfectly happy with and loving whatever they end up doing. Most romance books are so focused on sticking body parts in other body parts, and it’s so important to the characters, which is fine, but it’s so nice to find a book that shows something different. And the sex scenes are hot and just as gorgeous as everything else in their relationship.
I enjoyed getting to meet Varazda’s family too. As frustrating as some of them were at first, it was only because they cared and because they had their own traumatic pasts that colored their perception of things. They were good people, and the relationships Varazda had with them were so nice. The way Dami was so understanding and patient with them, even when they were being jerks, was nice too. As was their eventual realization that Dami was actually pretty great. And Remi, Varazda’s daughter, was so cute!
It was also nice getting Varazda’s POV this time! Gave me more insight into his life, his feelings toward Dami, his struggles and insecurities and worries, his feelings about his gender. I won’t go into a whole paragraph again, but I love this nonbinary rep.
Overall, another wonderful book, and I cannot wait to read the final book about Damiskos and Varazda and their lovely relationship!
Fans of Book 1 in A.J. Demas's Sword Dance series. Anyone who likes fantasy worlds without magic, beautiful and gentle romance, a bit of action and intrigue, characters trying to heal from physical and emotional scars, and nonbinary characters.