I really enjoyed this installment of the Darshian Tales. Fantasy though it is, just like the rest of the series it doesn't lack for believable details and realistic, large-scale world-building. I'm pretty sure at this point that I know more about the history, geography, and politics of this world than I do about my own. As I've come to expect from the Darshian books, the characters are multi-dimensional, realistic, and sympathetic. Sometimes they're kind, sometimes they're cruel, but you can always understand why they are the way they are. I really loved that this book detailed a different kind of romance than what I'm used to reading. This is not fiery passion and burning love, but a slow evolution of understanding and mutual respect, with the weight of past sorrow, adversity, and personal growth behind it. I've always been interested in seeing how people react to tragedy and adversity, and I love “trial by fire,” so to speak: watching someone forged into a stronger person by difficult circumstances. So this book was a delight in that respect. Perhaps a bit cruel that I want my characters to have to work so hard for it, but a well-earned and fully-deserved happy ending is a very satisfying thing.