*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*
This was another complex fantasy book in the series with a unique premise and some interesting characters, but I have to admit I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the first one.
This series is turning out to be more epic than I generally like. I prefer to focus on one or a few characters so that I can get to know them and really connect with them. Since this was the second in a series, I was already connected to Rowena, Anselm, and The Alchemist, but their POVs only consisted of maybe half the book.
The other problem was all the description and explanation of the geography, the history of the world, settings, and machines that I just didn’t understand. I have a hard time concentrating, and history and geography were always my worst subjects.
But of course these are issues of personal taste, not things that make a book bad, and I can still appreciate that the world-building was complex and thought-out and that the POVs provided a lot of unique perspectives and a well-rounded view of the story.
And as I said, I really liked the three main characters. Anselm is especially interesting to me, very rakish and charming but with deadly claws (figuratively speaking). And the Alchemist, “sweet” is not a word most people would use to describe him, but that’s exactly how he is with Rowena. There’s also an adorable found family element between the three of them, especially between Rowena and the Alchemist.
This book also had more lanyani (tree creatures), so it was interesting to learn more about them, how they move and communicate and live and think.
Overall, this book skewed away from my own tastes a bit, but I still enjoyed the time I got to spend with the three main characters, and I think anyone who likes detailed world-building and an epic style with POVs on all sides of the story will enjoy this even more than I did!
Fans of Book 1 in Tracy Townsend's Thieves of Fate series. Anyone who likes alternate Earth fantasy worlds, scrappy underdogs, ex-mercs with soft sides, and cute character dynamics.