Good, solid, exciting follow-up to Cold Burn of Magic. I love Estep’s writing and the way she writes such a variety of characters, but she always delivers strong female characters. Plural. And even if there’s a woman in one of her books who’s more homey and focused on her looks, she’s still strong. The world building is something else wonderful about her writing. All her series take place in the real world, in fictional cities. While there may be magic or assassins, everything is still grounded. It never comes across or feels fake. It always feels authentic, like, hey, this could exist if we actually had magic.

Lila is a fun, interesting character to share headspace with. Because she’s been so self-reliant, she has an edge to her that Estep’s other YA heroine, Gwen Frost, took a while to develop but still had more of a softness to her. Lila has some softness, but not a lot. She’s beginning to thaw out a little, round some of the edges. But it’s her edge that gives her the advantage, as well as what she learned from her mother.

While I enjoy Lila and like having her as the narrator and MC, I’m pretty sure Felix completely steals the show whenever he’s around. I usually am not one who likes a supporting character more than the lead, but every now and then I burst out laughing from something Fe does or says. He’s just fun. Devon’s lucky as hell to have him for a best friend.