If Mireya thought that her life would calm down and let her adjust after the events of the first book, she was sorely mistaken. Though she earned the provisional title of tea master, there is the matter of an additional test in order to keep it. And as it turns out that test will be competing in the final round of a tea tournament with absolutely no help from the tea guild. The tournament itself is brings intrigue and international politics as well as three finalists who aren’t at all happy about Mireya’s last minute addition to the finals. Plus, Mireya’s older sister is in town dealing with some of the issues Mireya uncovered and is determined to drag her back to life as a princess. Also the barrier between the magical cataclysm and the rest of the world seems to be failing. Throw in her developing romance and a mischievous familiar, and calm is not the way she’d describe things. Still, if she can once again rally her chosen family around her, she might have a chance to get through this.
The stakes are upped in this sequel, and it didn’t disappoint. This time around the major focus is on Mireya’s developing romance with Deniel as well as her relationship with her sister Saiyana. The tea tournament brings new faces to the cast as well as gives more details about the world in general which I appreciated. Her friendship with Lorwyn does remain a central lynchpin to the series, and it’s nice to see that that element hasn’t been dropped. I was also really intrigued by how little hints of things from the first book were made more explicit in natural ways like Ostario being trans. I’m really curious to see how some of the plot threads from this book will be tied up in the next. The added worldbuilding was great and answered some if not all my questions from the first book as well. Mireya’s constant doubts and questioning of herself could get a little tedious at times, but for the most part the story moved along at a good clip. It’s a solid cozy fantasy that live up to the potential of the first book. Four out of five stars.