Another great entry to this series.
I have to admit, upon reading the summary and some of the reviews, I was a bit nervous about this book being in the third-person POV of a newly-introduced character (Costis). But, Megan Whalen Turner handled this marvelously, and just like with The Queen of Attolia, I was completely enthralled.
With that said, though, I will say that there were times where I *did* long for more than just Costis' peak into the lives of Gen and Queen Attolia (Irene). There were times when I felt frustrated that I didn't understand why they said what they said, or did what they did. I mean, the reader knows from the prior books that Gen and Irene are too smart to not say something or do something *deliberately*; but Costis (at first) only takes things at face value, and I wasn't always clever enough to figure out their schemes, motivations, or true feelings by myself.
Of course, Turner goes about revealing most of these things eventually, once Costis starts to see the King (and yes, even the Queen) in a different light. And I tore through the book excitedly, relishing in these moments. It was a feeling akin to opening up presents on Christmas morning - ah, yes, *this* is what I've been waiting for!
When all is said and done, though, I'm so torn between loving the mastery of us following the events through the eyes of Costis, and yet at the same time, wishing that I could have been privy to some private moments between Gen and Irene. The problem is, I just don't know if I came away from the book having a good sense of who they truly are behind all of the facades, shields, sarcasm, and what have you.
I'll stop rambling, though. All you need to know is that I completely loved it (possibly even more than Book 2... I can't decide!), I read it in just one day (and a work day, at that), and I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone.