Rating: 5 stars.
This. I have been anxiously waiting for this book ever since I finished The Gilded Wolves, and yet although I got it from Netgalley a while ago, I was too afraid to touch it until now because I feared it couldn't live up to The Gilded Wolves.
Now I regret waiting. This was all I hoped for and more.
Roshani Chokshi's writing never fails to amaze me. Her prose is so beautiful, her use of metaphors and symbolism is simply magical, and her worldbuilding and the way she incorporates magic into her stories is singular. The dialogue between the characters felt so familiar, although this book had a totally different tone than The Gilded Wolves, and the banter was so well written.
I now love all of the characters even more than before. They all feel so real, their struggles are easy to emphasize with and they all carry their own unique burdens. I loved the way their friendship as well as the individual relationships played such a huge part and how they all developed throughout the story. And I love how she always manages to incorporate the character's heritage and culture into the story and shows that those make them who they are.
The pacing of this one was faster than in the first book and I definitely found myself unable to stop reading towards the ending. I didn't anticipate some of the plot twists at all, although they were all cleverly set up during the book. The ending made me almost scream out loud and I can't believe we have to wait for the next book to see how the story continues.
I loved this book just as much as I loved The Gilded Wolves, and Roshani Chokshi has yet again proven why I consider her one of my favourite authors.