Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is another great book in this YA Fantasy series. If you haven’t read the first book yet, you have time to pick it up and read, and then read this one before the third book comes out in September 2021.

Sir Ransom Barton starts the book off on a pilgrimage to the East Kingdoms looking for a blessing from the Fountain, the source of magic for the kingdom. He then returns home to find a new patron and to seek out Claire, the heiress he loves. He arrives in Kingfountain and is unexpectedly welcomed by King Devon and made a part of his Council. The King grants Ransom another castle and two wards to oversee. He then sends Ransom on several missions to try to broker peace with the King’s enemies. One of these missions puts him in contact with the poisoner who shot him in the leg and killed Devon the younger. His suspicions of who she is is correct, but she proposes she and Ransom join forces. As King Devon’s sons start to betray him and join forces with his enemies, Ransom is thrust into more and more dangerous battles. The tides are turning against King Devon and Ransom’s sense of honor and duty could leave him once again without a patron.

I loved this book. The action starts immediately and the intensity doesn’t let up until the satisfying ending, although, of course, there is a juicy cliffhanger in the epilogue. The book is paced well and is a quick and easy read. Ransom shows growth in this book, and is not the young, inexperienced knight he was in the first book. He has a better sense of himself and trusts his instincts more, and is able to speak truth to power. Of course, he still serves a master, and must follow orders he doesn’t necessarily agree with.

Claire is still imprisoned in the tower with the Queen, and still resists King Devon’s efforts to marry her off to his sons. She sporadically hears news of the battles going on and is frustrated by her inability to take action. King Devon begrudgingly allows Claire and Ransom to write each other, which helps bring the two closer together. Of course, in typical star-crossed lover fashion, neither is sure of the other’s feelings, so time is lost in the lack of communication. I highly recommend you start reading this series. I can’t wait for the next book to come out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and 47North. All opinions are my own.