This time around, Patricia Briggs brings back her heroine, Aralorn, and her companion, Wolf, for an all new adventure. Aralorn's father has died - or so she believes. Upon returning to her home for the first time in the decade since she left to become a mercenary, Aralorn finds many changes: teenage siblings who were babies when she left, a newly built temple to the goddess of death, a brother who is suspicious of her and her magic, and a father who is spelled and asleep, but definitely not dead.
Aralorn dives into the mystery surrounding her father's condition, while dealing with a few particularly painful reminders of just why she left home. Added into the mix is her increasingly complex relationship with Wolf. I think this is my absolute favorite thing about this book, seeing their relationship change and grow. I love that Wolf is turning to her, and not away from her, and learning that someone loves him. I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug him, watching - him - change and grow.
The threat of the ae'Magi (did he survive, when everyone believes him dead? and if so, how?) looms though, and is a definite threat to Aralorn's happiness, and to her father. Someone is forcing those around her to work black magic. I enjoyed how she, Wolf, and the others - including her uncle - all came together to fight against the dark magic.
My only complaints with this book were, I wish it had lasted a little longer, and I thought the ending was perhaps a little too neat for my tastes. I would have liked to have seen the book carry us a little father past where it did, perhaps set the stage for another adventure with Wolf and Aralorn. And I wish we'd see a little more of her family. I loved at least two of her grown brothers. : )