Can I tell you a secret? I was thinking that Maas was crazy for dedicating an entire book to a character we didn’t even hear a peep from in the last one. And Chaol? Let’s be honest; he’s not the most exciting of her characters. BUT, wholly Swoony McSwoonersen, Batman. If there is anything I love in a book (fantasy or otherwise), it’s a slow burn of a romance and an Alpha male. Was that my expectation going into this? Absolutely not, but that’s exactly what it was. Truth be told, not a lot happens in this book. The plot moves along at a pretty good clip, but it took awhile for some action to happen. New characters and setting breathe some much needed life and excitement into the series. Chaol and Nesryn have traveled to her home in Antica to seek an alliance and gain an army. Even though they are guests at the palace, the Khagan and his children aren’t exactly super friendly and getting an audience with them is proving to be difficult. The other reason for coming to Antica is for the renowned healers. Yrene Towers gets the job of healing Chaol - she is feisty, intelligent, brave, loyal and cannot believe she has to put her hands on the man that was the Guard to the King that killed her family. But she does it and with gusto. It doesn’t hurt that Chaol has chiseled abs and sun-kissed skin. While Chaol is getting busy with Yrene, heads out the gutter people, Nesryn is busy feeling at home for the first time in a long while. She and one of the Khagan’s sons, Sartaq, travel with the Rukhin riders (think of them as the alternative to Manon and her bevy of witches), in search of some answers. The good news is they get some answers; the bad news is the almost dying part. While I did say not much happened in the way of action (until the end), a TON happened in the way of answers. Maas soothed some curiosity in a major way while revealing a few new truths at the same time. The audio, while longer than my normal at twenty-two hours, flew by. I missed Elizabeth Evans. Her character voices brought me back to a place I had missed. Aelin, you were never far away from the thoughts of these characters, and I didn’t miss you as much as I thought I would. Manon-my badass witch book friend- I always miss you. I laughed, I cried, I swooned- all three of my favorite emotions when reading!