A slam dunk follow up the first in the series, Kings or Pawns. World building isn't easy, but author J.J. Sherwood, makes it look like a piece of cake. She seemlessly picks up where the last book left off and we continue to follow our favorite (and least favorite) characters on the next steps of their journeys. Jikun and Navon have crossed the sea and are looking for a way to gather troops and somehow attack the tyrant ruler Saebellus again, Alvena is trying to put as much distance between herself and the city before the queen finds her and murders her, Sellamar is trying to assist the resistance while playing politics with the bad boys, and we get to see a whole new side of "the beast." New characters are introduced, some old characters die, and political intrigue, adventure, heroics, and fantasy reign supreme in this stellar follow up. A fantastic series that fantasy fans will eat up. Definitely an emerging author to watch for; the story line and plot are intricate and tightly woven, no plot holes, weak characters, or bad writing. A fast and entertaining read!