Miller (Torn, 2018) returns readers to a world of political upheaval and revolution, following a seamstress with magical gifts as she struggles to find the role she must play.
Previously, commoner Sophie Balstrade's greatest daily concern was increasing the clientele of her upscale clothing shop, where she made charmed gowns for fine ladies. But her life has changed: Now she is engaged to the crown prince of Galitha, Theodor, whose proposed reforms are poised to transform the country and grant commoners more rights. While some nobility support Theodor, many oppose yielding any of their power—and hold Sophie in contempt. Some even accuse her of ensorcelling Theodor with her charm-crafting. Sophie and Theodor's love is tested by malicious rumors and political consequences, but there's more than just love at stake: As Theodor's betrothed, Sophie must play princess-to-be, navigating the treacherous waters of high society and political intrigue. A diplomatic summit goes disastrously wrong when Sophie and Theodor are betrayed and Sophie becomes the target of an assassination attempt. But Sophie is discovering more than just political treachery: The domestic magic by which Sophie's made her living is turned to far more warlike goals in other countries. As Theodor's father, the king, sides with the nobles against the peasantry, a civil war erupts in Galitha, and Sophie must determine if a common ground exists between her roles as revolutionary figure, royal-to-be, and charm caster—especially when she is asked to use her magic for more than she ever thought possible. As the second part of a series, the book lays the necessary groundwork for the next volume while still managing a tense plot and satisfying character development.
This enjoyable installment maintains the innovative magic and well-handled conflict between the personal and the political that marked the series debut.