Now that I finished it, I'm a little torn.
- The flashback technique, not really working for me. Didn't like how it was handled in the first book, didn't like it here.
- The heroine is an annoying whiny ungrateful brat, more often than not, although she's growing on me.
- The sage Wynn in this book is even worse! Good grief she's unlikeable. Even if I do continue to read the series, I won't be reading her offshoot.
I just can't help thinking each of these books would be better if 50-100 pages were knocked off. The pacing veers between brilliant and ridiculously slow, like it can't decide, and it makes them feel a little disjointed. I find myself skipping through entire sections and not, as you might think, the descriptive sections, because the world building here is spot on, but rather the multi-page descriptions of rituals being performed by Wynn who I dislike are just... boring. I don't care how she takes her tea, even though it's a plot point later, it could have been easily handled by "Wynn dropped some mint leaves into her tea, as was her habit" (and there's tons more examples like this).
- Leesil is interesting, and a whole lot more likeable than Magiere, even though he's just as damaged as she is.
- Damaged heroes that aren't just magically over it one day - Probably the reason Magiere is growing on me, she's got some really crap baggage and it's broken her, so the more we learn, the more we understand why she is how she is. From that perspective, the character is really working, and the writing is really quite good.
- The world-building is really paying off. There is a real sense of an actual world, with different countries, with different cultures, races, and even species, well thought through and planned out.
Overall: I like the series, well enough that I will try to find the rest of it, but they are on my "someday" list, rather than the "oh my goodness I have to find out how this ends RIGHT NOW" list.