So I held off on the last review discussing the transgender issues and how that's used, as Tobin had no clue who he really was throughout that book. He does find out in this book and I think it was handled very well. It is shocking news for him and he's resistant to it at first. He was raised a boy and wants to remain one. He has a lot of doubts and fears surrounding this secret, and he can't even discuss it with his best friend and squire, Ki. While Iya and Arconiel (sp?) know, they're not around, as Tobin is now living in the palace with King Erius and Prince Corrin. By the time it comes to reveal herself as the rightful queen of Skala, Tobin still has reservations but knows she must claim her throne for the good of her country.
This book is a nice slow burn. As you learn more and more about the king and Corrin and the Companions, you see how Skala is barely holding itself together. It would've been very easy to make Erius and Corrin despicable and hatable, but Ms. Flewelling doesn't do that. Erius is dangerous, no doubt about it, but he's not unkind or unfair to Tobin, even as he tries to control Tobin and Tobin's lands. Corrin dotes on his younger cousin, encouraging him to train with the Companions and guiding him around the city. Tobin finds resistance elsewhere, even as he makes friends among the other noble children and the townspeople. Iya and Arconiel have their enemies too, in the form of the harriers, a band of wizards set to hunt down other wizards and priests deemed traitors.
I'm eager to see what happens next.
Note on the audio recording: The narrator is the same as the first, and he does another excellent job bringing this story to life. My issue was technical. I had to practically blast my car speakers full volume to hear anything, which has not been an issue with any other audiobooks I've listened to. Even at full blast, I sometimes had to strain to understand what was being said.