It has been a while since I read the previous book, but I fell into this very quickly. The story moved quickly and it was very gripping. Neryn has grown a great deal as a character since book one, in which she annoyed me a little. But she grew wise and compassionate by the end.
I loved all the fey characters, and all of the lore surrounding them. I could have done without all the phonetic Irish accents, but eventually you get used to it. I really enjoyed the Master of Shadows. He reminded me a little bit of what I might've expected Mac Dara of the Sevenwaters series to be, had he not been turned into an unambiguous villain.
The ending was poignant. I didn't cry as I did during Daughter of the Forest, but it was still the sorrowful happy ending I come to expect from her. And she's one of the best tellers of love stories I've ever read.
I try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, but I need to discuss a few in here in order to articulate the issues I had. Stop now if you don't want to know what happens.
I was satisfied with the conclusion, except that there were a few threads where I wished I could have known more. I guess it's just that the author did too good a job at humanizing all of the characters, making it apparent that each of them had their own story, their own motivations. I wanted to know what brought Rohan around to the loyalty he felt toward Flint, even when Flint's loyalty to the king was called into question. I wanted to know if something more was happening to the king, since the previous book, and this one, implied that the truly horrible things that were done in his name were the queen's doing. I wanted to understand the second Caller, whom Neryn determined should not be killed, because it did not feel right. I tended to trust that her instincts were correct, and I thought perhaps he could be saved, turned to her side, something. In the end, he still died, so I guess the only reason she felt it was wrong to kill him was the concern someone mentioned that the Good Folk would be killed if he were gone. I had wanted to see a little more.
All of this, I guess, just shows how talented the author is at humanizing her characters. If she wrote a side story featuring any one of the characters from this series, I would read it in a heartbeat.