Best book of the series so far! The Vord return with a vengeance and out of nowhere and all of Alera is fighting for it's life. I enjoyed the different setting and the exposure to new characters and peoples that had only briefly been mentioned previously in the series. This book kind of feels like a placeholder because you know what's coming - an ultimate showdown between Octavian and his forces and the Queen of the Vord.
There are several really poignant moments in this particular book and the politics of Canea are interestingly different from anything that we may begin to conceptualize. The blossoming friendship and respect, built on a sort of desire to kill each other, that develops between Tavi and Varg is amazing, and scenes with the two of them are among my favorite for the entire series.