To fully appreciate this book I feel you should read the Black Jewels trilogy first. Having read the previous novels, I really enjoyed this book! This time you are taken to Dena Nehele (the territory visited in the "Invisible Ring"). The characters involved are the descendants of Jared, Lia, Tersa and Blaed. They face the enormous challenge of rebuilding their homeland after it has been destroyed by Dorothea's tainted Queens.
Jaenelle chooses Lady Cassidy for the task and the Dena Nehele Warlord Princes are disappointed to receive what they think is a plain and weak Queen to rule over them. Also, Cassidy thinks she's a failure, a reject Queen of low cast, with neither looks or `Aristo' connections to recommend her.
Soon they all discover (with a BIG nudge from Lucivar!!!) that there are different kinds of power if you just bother to look beyond the surface. Cassidy herself discovers her own strength, especially through Gray, a damaged Warlord Prince from Dena Nehele. He, in his turn, perceives a different kind of beauty in Cassidy and has the possibility of being made whole again through her love.
My only reservation is that I wanted to see more of the Dena Nehele characters and less of Saetan's and Daemon's problems. I wanted to see more of Talon too. He didn't take such a backseat about Protocol with Jared in the "Invisible Ring" and I felt, considering what he was like before, that he didn't tick-off Theran enough here! There seems to be an unfinished story with Theran. But perhaps this is a ploy by Anne Bishop to keep me hooked! :)