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Dark and grimy intrigue
on 12 November 2012
Nyxnissa - still not a bel dame despite her deal with the Queen, and working minor jobs just keeping her team fed - is plunged back into the fray when a rogue bel dame attempts to assassinate her current protectee. Nyx has to decide whose side she is really on - the bel dame sisterhood's, the Queen's, or a rogue element thrown out of the bel dames many years before - and what she is prepared to do in order to become a bel dame again.
At the end of God's War, Nyx's team has spread to the far winds. Her magician and shifter have gone to a safe third country, where they won't be compelled to fight. Her comms specialist is dead and her best gun has set up as an independent. The new team is more-or-less an excuse to rescue lost causes, and Nyx will need her old people and a lot of called-in favours to discover who is trying to kill her and possibly overthrow the kingdom of Nasheen.
The narrative here flows better than God's War, despite the jumping around to various characters' viewpoints. Inaya, Khos and Rhys have excellent character development, and we get to learn a little more about Nyx's contacts within the bel dames and the magicians, not to mention the Queen and her security service. We also see some more history and learn just how unusual Inaya's shifting abilities are. However, the world of Umayma is still too much a dark and depressing place for me to be able to invest in it emotionally, and Nyx seems to be not only adding to the horror of it but intent on continuing to do so.
I was given a free copy of this novel to review.