In Flight of Magpies, plotlines and arcs that have been building since book one finally are resolved. Crane wants to leave the country with Stephen more and more every day. He’s chafing at England’s restrictive society, and he’d rather be away from reminders of his family legacy and obligations, as all they do is remind him of how terrible his life used to be. But if Stephen stays in England, Crane does too. He’s promised not to leave him. And Stephen is practically married to his job as a justiciar, even though he hates it, he sees it as an obligation. The conflict here comes to a head for both men, who have to make decisions about what they’re going to do.
While all this is going on, Stephen is pulled even further into work. Someone is killing cops with very frightening magical means, and someone else has been using windwalking powers to burgle people’s houses, and whoever they are is a dead ringer for Stephen’s trainee, Jenny Saint. And despite telling Crane otherwise, Lady Bruton (who tried to kill Crane back in book one, bringing the two men together) is still at large from justice.
I’m going to say the same thing about this book that I’ve said about all the others: for whatever reason, I like the plots and characters and fantasy worldbuilding here better than I like the romance. I like Crane and Stephen individually (especially since we finally get POV from Stephen!) but I just don’t feel it when they are together romantically. I can’t figure out why. I don’t hate them together or anything, but I could also leave that aspect of the story entirely and be perfectly happy.
I would still very much recommend this series, though, despite those reservations, especially if you like fantasy with historical and horror elements.