4 stars

This is the second book in the Kingston Cycle series. I loved the first book, Witchmark, and was very excited when I was given the opportunity to read and review this one. (You can read my review for Witchmark here:….

The first book focused on Miles who is a witch. He was fated to be enslaved by the interests of his family or committed to a witch asylum, so he faked his death, joined the army, and became a doctor. He was sent to war and came back greatly changed. During the first book, he eventually reconciled with his sister, Dame Grace Hensley. They worked together to end an atrocity her nation was perpetuating. This book begins shortly after the events of the first book.

This book is told from Grace’s perspective, and focuses on her efforts to heal her nation and guide it through the disaster of losing power. It’s winter and huge storms are on the horizon. Her father and a group of first mages are locked up, and the other mages are all jockeying for power. This, in addition to a hostile and prickly queen and her father’s meddling, puts her position of authority on shaky grounds. Add to that Avia Jessup, a gorgeous, nosy and persistent reporter who is intent on getting to the bottom of the story of how the power went out, and Grace is barely keeping it all together.

This book is just as well-written as the first book and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t like Grace’s storyline as much as I liked Miles’ in the first book. After how cold she was in the first book, it was hard to warm up to Grace and believe that she had changed so significantly. I liked Grace’s interactions with Avia, however, and enjoyed reading how she resolved her struggle to keep Avia at a distance while being attracted to her.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I think the main reason why I didn’t like it as much as the first book is because I really like Miles and his boyfriend and wanted to read more about them. They only play a small role in this book, which was disappointing to me. This is a very small irritant, however, and I still highly recommend you read this book. I am not sure if there are more books planned in this series or not. The ending is such that it could go either way. I hope there are more books, and if so, will definitely read them.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.