Fiancées in fantasy books are often not taken quite seriously, even more so if they are a princess. McKillip will have none of that, and elevates the fiancée of the first book’s hero to the new protagonist. The change in point of view does the trilogy a world of good, but doesn’t change the odd pace and oddly distanced narrative at heart.
Raederle, the protagonist, is trying to find out what happened to Morgan, and while doing so, comes into her own power, which she struggles with a lot. The book ends with a dramatic showdown between Raederle and a host of raised ghosts on the one side and her fiance and the mysterious bard on the other. I liked the story a bit more than the first book, but enjoyed the first book’s general ambience more.