Britta deals with secrets and fallout from the events of Ever the Hunted (2016).
While romantic lead Cohen and his younger brother track the villainous Spiriter Phelia, they run into Lirra, who asks for help solving the abduction of Shaerdanian Channeler girls by Malamian men, possibly to create a magical army. Meanwhile, Britta is coping with the attentions of King Aodren, newly freed from enchantment. When she used her own Spiriter abilities to heal him, she broke her magical bond with Cohen and built a new one with Aodren so strong that even he can feel it—and her. These three narrators allow readers to see their obligatory love triangle’s clichés from every possible angle. When Phelia finally shows her face, it’s to Britta—Phelia has secrets to share, namely that she’s Britta’s mother, and she wants Britta to join her. Nearly the first half of the book is slow-paced, a bloated slog to a genuinely surprising chain of betrayals that kicks off the plot in earnest. From the frequently unfocused first act even through the action-heavy back end, it frequently struggles with creating enough tension, especially through unclear motivations. While most characters are white, dark-skinned individuals are occasionally—Lirra is one—mentioned, and race appears to have no significance in the fantasy world.
A forgettable sequel. (Fantasy. 12-18)