The fae courts stand on the cusp of conflict – conflict brought by Bananach, ancient faerie of war who longs for the courts to march against each other.
But her machinations are finding success not because of the fae’s bloodlust, but because of the conflicted emotions and jealousies of the fae rulers. Niall, holding grudges for Summer’s failure to protect Leslie is looking for an excuse to slaughter in revenge. Aislinn is torn by her love for Seth and her powers as Summer Queen drawing her towards Keenan, the Summer King. Keenan’s relationship with Donia, the Winter Queen is rocky and difficult – perhaps even impossible. And, again, he is drawn to his Queen and jealous and angry with Seth – who is best friends with Niall and gives him another excuse to strike against Summer.
As the emotions become more volatile, more and more foolish, rash actions follow, raising more tension between the courts and threatening Summer just as it should be resurgent. Desperate to be fae, Seth turns to the 4th court, the High Queen Sorcha and potentially drags them into the ensuing conflict as well with his new, powerful links to Sorcha and his long separation from Summer and the Dark Court.
This is a book that is all about character interaction. Which, to me, makes it a book that is very much down to personal taste. Personally, I am not generally a big fan of books that have lots of sitting around and talking and not a whole lot of things actually happening or people doing things.
I was left with some feelings of disconnect with some of the characters though, mainly because they felt so transformed from what they were for the sake of extra conflict. I didn’t expect Niall to be Keenan and Ailing’s biggest fan after Leslie (but the blame for that surely falls on Irial’s shoulders?) but the level of antipathy in this book is extreme. Similarly, the hostility from Donia seems to have reached unexpected heights. For that matter, the depth of the friendship between Seth and Nial (to such a degree that Seth is willing to overlook Niall’s treatment of Aislinn) seems to have suddenly peaked without a full foundation. This all cumulated by Sorcha, immortal, unchanging, unemotional, eternal Sorcha deciding to form her bond with Seth.