Good, good, good book. Tavi is growing up, and his mysterious past, and why he has no furies is finally revealed.
Things that are really good:
3. Grown-up Ehren
5. Tavi as a legionnaire captain
oh wait, .5. The Freaking Canim.
Finally Tavi's got some worthy adversaries and while treachery is always afoot in the Kingdom of Alera, this time, there's far more open conflict. Butcher continues to write really well and put his characters through legitimately believable emotional turmoil and growth in a completely fantastic setting filled with awesome imagery and novel twists on epic action.
There's nothing not to like about this book, and the way Butcher puts it together makes you feel rewarded for sticking with the series. Questions about key characters' dubious past lives are revealed and the political intrigue gets far thicker and stickier. A perfect example of how one can write really awesome adventure fiction and still be incredibly intelligent. I can't help but compare this series to the Ender series. And every time I do, I think, Butcher wins. This is what Ender should have been after the first book. Card's geopolitical fantasies are an unrealistic shadow compared to the world of Alera. On to the next one.