If the first book, Witchmark, was 50% mystery 25% magic 25% romance, and the second was about 25% mystery 25% romance 50% politics, with this third novel we’ve moved to 75% politics, 15% magic, 10% romance (if that). And while political ~intrigue~ x fantasy is a genre I am very into (see: A Memory Called Empire or Winter’s Orbit), the intrigue in this novel is less Machiavellian maneuvering and more…anti-aristocracy liberal fever dream.
Most of this novel focuses on Robin and her attempts at establishing direct democracy, reparations, and green energy within a period of, like, a month? I missed the magic-first worldbuilding we got earlier. I perhaps might have been less disenchanted (ha) by this novel if the world at large and the democracy of my home nation wasn’t actively circling the drain. As it were, I could never get into the plot points because they seemed utterly beyond the possible.
In a world that has witches and quasi-elves and magic.
There’s less of that “whodunnit” in this novel, which is probably better than trying to come up with a new mystery that’s even more outrageous and rage-inducing than what we’ve already discovered in the prior two novels (as I was reading this I was wondering if there was a way to restructure the novels such that the gotcha of the first novel was spread out over longer). The romance of the novel is less that and more a portrait of a couple trying to work through PTSD and trauma, except that both of them really deprioritize doing so because they’re so busy.