Maraya and Karen! Maraya thought there was too much pining and Karen loved it. I fell in the middle, where I ended up liking it but I also thought that IN THE SHADOWS OF THE CITADEL lacked the action and the snark that made me fall in love with the previous book, with all of its atmosphere and mystery.
This book begins where the last one left off, with Vethe recuperating from mage fever and Lyria returning home, exhausted and dejected. Almost immediately, both of them begin questioning everything they thought they knew about the history of their kingdom. What if history was wrong? It is, after all, written by the victors. A point that is rarely explored in fantasy novels and was quite refreshing to see here.
I liked the twist with Vethe and his family. They had a spooky Flowers in the Attic vibe in the previous book so it was interesting to see that behind the cold, Gothic facade, they are actually... not so bad in their weird way? And we also get to see more of Lyria's brothers, where I learned that I might actually stan Gaul. How can you not stan a man who doesn't feel at all emasculated by weaving flowers into his hair?
I can't really say too much about this one because spoilers, so I'll close by saying that even though it was a bit of a disappointment after the ~awesomeness~ of the first book, I still loved the characters and enjoyed how the author explored some of the unsolved mysteries of this world. Also, the sex scenes are hot-- even if the characters end up doing it in the back of a manure cart. It works, okay?
I can't wait to read the third book in the series with my friends when it comes out~! #ShamelessGaulFangirl
3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars