Well, this was an unexpectedly good book. I liked Isabel from the very beginning and the mystery behind her past, revealing it to be even more than what she expected herself to be too.
As for the two princes, both sides have their own story. And arguably, Rokan is a far better choice than Kaer. He has enough common sense not to think that the throne should be his, and acknowledged both sides of it. That his father had done what he could to maintain the kingdom, and despite usurping the throne, his father kept power within them.
I think that Isabel doesn’t have much of a personality, and is quite a blank slate. Except that she develops eventually, and thinks deeper about the two princes. Despite being the shifter, she isn’t just magic, she has a lot to discover about herself. And I really like the ending when it revealed who she was and what she was. It was an unexpected and good twist there.
As for the court politics, that is something that I deeply enjoyed here. Seeing that Rokan had to face a lot of pressure, revolts from both sides. And how the court is handled, with the different parts having completely different situation. I really liked political intrigue and how it helped form the magic here, and the sorcerers too.
As for Clarisse, who is pretty different from Isabel in her own way. Isn’t her friend but neither is her enemy, she is a really good character to this dynamic. Whether she intends to betray her own brother or to save him, or to help him towards the end. And mostly, at the beginning when she was wary yet capable of trusting Isabel. That is an interesting character, and also impacted Isabel quite a bit.
Most importantly, the plot is good, slowly moving but eventually revealing countless twists and secrets. Whether is it about the past, or how the shifter had disappeared. It was handled very well, and also the last addition where it revealed about what Isabel actually was, had been a very nice mix.
Overall, I would recommend this to those who want a good high fantasy set in medieval times. This is one filled with twists that you would not expect and also a lot of court intrigue too, and with a tinge of magic but enough for typical fantasy readers.
Rating: 4 out of 5