This is a prequel to Jensen’s Malediction Trilogy, and as such I recommend you read that first.

And I do, indeed, recommend that you read the trilogy, it’s quite good.

This book is up to the general standard of the series, and also recommended, though I’d say just a hair below the quality of the main trilogy. The problem is that there is a fair amount of background that is not carefully laid out here, as it is expected that you’re already familiar with it from the main books. And that’s fine, because the main books presents it well, and it would bring this story to a halt to go through just the important bits here.

In fact, this is a fairly short book (especially in the age of the fantasy doorstop), and is kept nicely tight and fast paced, which also helps it overall. Since this is an expansion of a bit of backstory discussed in the original trilogy, this also is a help. And it keeps in the same vein as the main series in tone and content, with action, romance, convoluted scheming, and high-powered magic. (And the action in here is very nicely done.)

The viewpoints are kept tight around the two characters of the romance side, and the chapters are clearly marked for which viewpoint they’re working with. However, the switches of the viewpoint are entirely at the whims of the plot, which in places make the structure feel a little random. That’s about the biggest complaint I have right there, short of the fact that I had forgotten more of the Malediction Trilogy than I wished.