The good news is that you don’t need to have Starcrossed fresh in your mind to enjoy this one, although if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. The (slightly) bad news is that this one didn’t feel as tight as the first.
The good! Bunce creates a fantasicaly realized world, complete with complex politics and religions and social structures. Nothing startlingly original, but well-crafted. The large cast of characters is fantastic and nuanced, with plenty of people you love and plenty of people who are flawed and potential suspects. The story is a combination of fantasy and mystery, with a flavoring of historical fiction.
The not-so-good – despite my interest in the world and the characters and the plot, things slowed down majorly in the middle. I enjoyed reading it but had a hard time really sinking in and losing large chunks of time with the book. It’s a smart book, and I love that, but it needed a tad more zip. Nonetheless, the ending has a nice zinger.
Source: my public library