Author: Sarah Prineas
Fer is restless back home with Grand-Jane. She can’t forget the Way she crossed or the people she saved or the land that is so much more to her than the place where she’s grown up. With Grand-Jane’s reluctant blessing, she heads back to take her place as the Lady of the Summerlands. Only to find the High Lords have issued her a challenge, contesting her right to rule, and have opened a competition with the prize as her beloved Summerlands. She can’t refuse—but she’s nothing like them, nor does she know what the testing might involve.
It doesn’t take long for Fer to plunge right back into the world she left, and despite her dual heritage it’s obvious which side of the Way she belongs. But, frustratingly, she makes little effort to figure out the rules of the particular world she’s entered, and when she refuses her subject’s oaths (for fear of being too like her predecessor) she sets off a chain of events that could tear the Summerlands from her forever.
Fer’s determination to play by her own rules finds its match again in Rook. The puck is no longer bound to be near her, but he can’t seem to tear himself away. Rook struggles to figure out what she is to him, even as he feels he must prove himself again to his brother pucks. And if that sounds terribly romantic, it really isn’t—Rook has never had a friend, apart from other pucks. He doesn’t trust Fer actually means friendship and not some tricky form of servitude, and especially now that she’s more or less a Lady he’s careful to stay away from anything that could be considered binding. Rook wants freedom more than anything.
Once again, the relationship between Rook and Fer is the heart of the story. Trust is a tricky thing, as Rook, no longer bound to obey anything, is free to make as much trouble as he desires. Pucks do love trouble . . .
I liked how Fer’s kindness continues to be one of her defining traits. She’s willing to be good, not just look good, even when it costs her dearly. And I like how the contest is as “tricksy” as it is, because as Fer is finding out, being straightforward can be itself a deception when dealing with the natives. It’s probably one reason why they’re so big on oaths, as an oath is sure in a way most things aren’t.
Overall this is a good adventure. I liked it better than the previous because it was harder to tell exactly where things were going. I rate this book Recommended.