Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is another great book in this fun YA Fantasy series that finds Ransom’s loyalties tested at home and with his king. Newly married, the couple arrive in Legault to reclaim the title that was Claire’s birth-right, but before the couple can make much progress on the dilapidated castle, Ransom is called away to serve King Benedict. Claire is upset and doesn’t want him to go, but Ransom’s duty is to answer his King’s call.

King Benedict decides to start a war in a far-off corner of the kingdom and leaves Ransom and his council to run the kingdom in his stead. Co-ruling with Ransom is the King’s mother and a sly, greedy and exasperating man who served the King when he was young. When circumstances become dire in the kingdom, Ransom must answer the call and once again put himself in danger to serve the Kingdom.

In this book we find Claire and Ransom apart most of the time -which tests the young couple’s commitment to each other, as well as their ability to trust that they truly know the other person. Their relationship is strained to its limit, and a strange feeling and confession add to stresses on the duo. The author does a good job exploring issues of trust, fear and commitment issues that almost every couple experiences once in awhile.

The author moves some storylines forward in this book, but adds bits of mystery here and there that will need to be explored in the next books. This book had more political intrigue than fighting in it, which is a nice change of pace.

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