The second book in Bernobich’s River of Souls series is a well-written page-turner, and while Ilse and Raul continue to have amazing chemistry, they spend much of the book apart for necessary plot momentum. The story feels less substantial than the first and while the secondary characters are well-drawn, they too are lacking a certain something.
Publicly estranged from her lover, Ilse Zhalina has started over again in a coastal town. Privately, she longs to be with Raul Kosenmark but must maintain the façade in order to further their joint plans to prevent a war: Ilse must find one of the three jewels of Lir to balance the one held by the king of Károvi, enemy of Varaene. She finds an unlikely ally in a woman who is shipwrecked and taken prisoner outside the town — she possesses the second jewel and together they hunt for the third, so both their nations may be saved. Meanwhile, Raul does what he can to help Ilse and her allies, all while being watched by his enemies. (TOR, Jul., 336 pp., $24.99)