Talia is back from her one and a half years of internship. She now can start on her duty as the Queen's adviser (actually, her title in the book is different, but the job description is exactly the same). It turns out the court's intrigues are way more deadly than the patrolling of borderlands. Her love live is also kind of bad, and there is also a matter of extremely grim prophesy about her future.
For better or worse, this trilogy in general and this book in particular are built around the character of Talia. This means that the novel is really good when Talia is at her best and it is extremely frustrating read when she is at her worst. Her personal problems come from the inability of three people (Talia included) to communicate between each other. This plot-line practically killed the entire book.
Up until the very end I was sure I would give this novel 3 stars. I changed my mind only I finished reading and had time to think about what I read - the whole trilogy that is. I will have to repeat myself, but the character of Talia is brilliant. She is what a strong woman in fantasy should be (hint: strong in this case does not equal physical strength which can be achieved by anybody with lots of steroids and heavy-lifting). This is about the ability to overcome all the obstacles and care about the welfare of other human beings no matter how miserable you are at the moment - there was a scene in this novel which shows this clearly.
My special thanks go to Armina
for helping me with my read. This review is a copy/paste of my Leafmarks one: https://www.leafmarks.com/lm/#/users/10968/books/79294/review