I practically raced through my reread of this. I’m excited to read the third book, and I’ve also been spoilered a bit for some of the contents, so I spent a lot of time reading very attentively, looking for the hints. It’s not an easy book to read, because you’ve come to care about all these characters and then dreadful things have happened, are happening, will happen. But it’s certainly interesting, bringing together strange alliances and showing us more of the world — this time, Eretz, the world of the angels and chimaera.
I forgot how much of a game-changer the end of this book is; honestly, in remembering Karou and Akiva’s relationship trajectory, I forgot about the political/racial plot a little. That is very much a part of this book, along with difficult stuff like choosing the lesser of evils, atoning for wrongs done, etc. It’s not just a book about a romance and the angst along the way. It’s also a powerful story about two races, both doing awful things, and how that awfulness begets more awfulness.
You’ve got to love the range of female characters available here, too, though the threat of rape is sadly conjured twice here as something to crush the female characters. Still, Liraz the asexual angel, Zuzana the tiny fierce girl whose love for her friend is her only qualification to be involved at all, Issa’s strength and love for Karou and the trust she puts in her, Ten’s unwavering support of Thiago… And there’s plenty of interesting male characters too: Mik, Hazael, Ziri, Thiago, etc.