Wow . . . The adventure is strong with this one. The Fae realm of Dhuinne, a random pocket realm, and various places on Earth, where do Len and Albigard not go?
Plot and Romance
I'm so happy that Albigard is coming out of his shell, I could cry! In this second instalment, they continue to try to figure a way out of their mess, save Zorah and Rans, and potentially the world, by arguing for four-hundred pages. And yes, I'm all here for the melting angst, the tension, Len's inability to give up on Albigard, Albigard's inability to not save Len from mortal peril, even at risk of his own death ... And did I mention tension? Cos it's there. It only took a book and a half, but they finally come together in this one. They haven't quite said the magical words yet, but they're getting there. And I loved the scenes. Seriously, it's awesome. It bends fem/masc societal roles, it bends the usual 'nonhumans are more awesome than humans' fantasy role, and it's just so refreshing. Oh, and the book leaves on a cliffhanger, and Zorah and Rans are still in trouble.
They really grow in this one. And I think this is the main reason I love this series so much. There's just soooo much character development, and it seems to keep getting better. Especially in terms of Albigard. You learn loads about his sexuality, his relationship with his family, how his people view him, and why he's so prickly. Len, on the other hand, reaches a real low in this book, I feel. He struggles with his addiction issues, he realises he might totally be into Albigard, and he has to eat with some things alone. But he powers through. He's one of the strongest characters I've ever read. And I love that. Real strength, not the gun/sword-loving maniac with zero emotions.
Ohhhhh, do we some world building in this. The guys spend a lot of time in a pocket realm that's super unique. RA Steffan clearly put a lot of thought into how that world works. And it really shows us that there's a lot out there, rather than just Hell, Dhuinne, and Earth. The potential to expand this universe beyond what we see in Last Vampire is totally there. We also get to see the creepy prison cells of Dhuinne again (which we also see in Last Vampire), the council chamber, and some other places in the awful realm.
As usual, zero complaints. Beautiful style, mostly error-free writing, and a good paragraphing system (read a few badly paragraphed novels in the last few days, and I'm suddenly seeing correct paragraphing as a gift from god).