** spoiler alert **
I know it was a good book, because it kept me up in the middle of the night thinking about it.
Warning!!!! do not read ...Lots of spoilers!!!!!(view spoiler)[
Things I loved:
- There was a lot of action, adventure, and (towards the end) ROMANCE. It's what moved the story along for me.
-Hector. Hector. Hector. He is a LOVE. He is has always been a quiet, reserved, thoughtful character, but in this book he shows so much emotional honesty with Elisa that it is heart-breaking.
-Learning more about Hector's background and family.
-The story was well crafted. All the pieces, sub-plots, characters fit together well. Nothing was jarring, or abrupt. It was a smooth read.
Things I didn't like/love:
-Elisa being so Machiavellian.
-Elisa not confessing her love for Hector sooner. Her internal musings about this drove me nuts. Didn't she learn from her mistakes with Humberto?
-It took Elisa far too long to realize what was going on with her kingdom and to realize who was plotting against her and why.
-Ximena. She was meddlesome in Hector and Elisa's love life, and she didn't respect Elisa's free will.
Brief Summary: DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS
This book starts out about 5 months after the end of the last book. Elisa is queen but she doesn't trust most of the people in political power around her, the economy is poor, the Invierne are still a looming threat, and there are assassination attempts on her life. Even as she realizes how much she cares for Hector, she is being pressured to make a politically beneficial marriage. Ximena and Father Alentin are scouring the scriptures to determine what God's will might be for Elisa. Turns out she is going on a quest to look for the Zafira, the source of all magical power. When another assassination attempt nearly kills Hector,Elisa discovers she can heal using her Godstone. She also realizes it's her love for him that allowed for the miracle.
Under the guise of visiting one of her suitor's homelands, Conde Tristan's, Elisa and her companions go in search of the zafira. Pretty soon it is clear that she is being followed by an Invierne assassin. Hector secrets her away, and we meet Felix, Hector's older brother and a sea captain. They sail directly through a hurricane and land shipwrecked on an island. Elise can feel the zafira calling to her. With the help of Storm, an Invierne defector who has been living secretly in Elise's kingdom and accompanied her on this journey, she finds the zafira. To harnesses the power Elisa must make Storm a living sacrifice to the zafira. She decides that she can't do it; she decides she will rely solely on her own powers and in the future not make anything or anyone a crutch. When they return to the mainland, the assassin is waiting and immediately tries to capture Elise. Ximena intercedes and argues that since the Invierne need a Elisa to go willingly( according to scripture), they should take Hector instead. Elisa loves him and would follow him anywhere. It ends with Hector being taken prisoner, and Elisa beginning to formulate her plan to get him back. (hide spoiler)]