This book carries straight on from part 1 of the Artesans of Albia series, King's Envoy and as such you need to read King's Envoy first to really appreciate what is going on.
We start with the companions in a mad chase away from the dungeons where Major Sullyan has been held captive and during the healing process the Major needs it is found that she will be unable to cross the veils and return to her home realm of Albia.
She makes the decision to offer her help to The Heirarch, the ruler of the realm of Andaryon, in his battle against Lord Rykan, the man who held Sullyan captive. The biggest problem is that women in Andaryan are very much looked down on and the men hold all the power. If Sullyan is to be accepted she has a lot to prove and due to her injuries sustained at the hands of Rykan she may not even survive to the final battle.
Once again, with this second book, Cas Peace shows herself to be a wonderfully gifted storyteller. Her descriptive skills allow you to live the book, not just read it and her battle tactics are as well written as it gets.
But it is with the characters that Ms. Peace really excels. As before Major Sullyan is one of the best and most believable female leads in fantasy fiction but all the characters are really well drawn. Lord Rykan is possibly one of the nastiest, most evil and hateful 'bad guys' yet and his general, Sonten is just plain despicable.
This is a book/series you can get lost in for hours, if not days but be warned, this is an author with the ability to tear at the heartstrings and leave you drained of emotion. This book will move you like possibly no other of its kind.
I predict great things for Cas Peace.