Oh. My. God. What did I just read??
I cannot begin to describe the craziness that is this book. For one, the main characters are hardly together for most of it. Between political intrigues and kidnappings, it shouldn't come as a surprise. It was to such a point that I started shipping Miranda (the heroine) with other suitors. Mizra stole my heart and it pained me that she didn't stay with him, even after he sexed her to bring her back to life. I shit you not.
Adultery, incest, sex slaves, rape, not-really-consensual-but-ok-let's-pretend-it-was sex are the order of the day. It took me nearly 3 weeks to get through the first 50%. Yes, it was that painful. The endless descriptions of every menial, useless little detail from the dresses to the food (so.many.salmons.en.gelée) to the precise cardinal directions of all the buildings in the story (and I do mean ALL THE BUILDINGS). It was absolutely madness. After the first 50%, the plot showed up and boy was it a doozy. Ridiculous to a T yet strangely entertaining in the "what the fuck is going to happen NOW?" sense.
Ms. Small goes on a killing spree that I had never seen before in any romance novel. It was sort of like the Game of Thrones of romance novels with the exception that the protagonists DO survive. Everyone from parental figures to characters you love to people you wanted dead, she took care of it. At times it became rather unfulfilling how quickly she got rid of troublesome characters. There was no real retribution except death. Poo. And oh my GOD when Lucas killed himself, my heart broke into a million pieces. He didn't deserve such a floptastic ending.
Overall crazy, clogged and too much for me most of the time. I am very unsure if I dare pick up another Bertrice Small novel but one thing I can say with confidence: it was quite a ride.