If you've been with me for a while, then you might remember the beginning of my reviewing career (if you can even call it that) with the Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan - which I loved then, and still love now.
This book is an heir to that series, not continuing Lady Trent's story but rather telling the story of her granddaughter, Audrey Camherst.
First of all, I think it's very important to make that distinction; that although this book could be considered a "sequel" it is not in point of fact a continuation of the same story. Like with Ender's Shadow, which is technically a sequel to Ender's Game, this book has a different feel and tells a different story, although it alludes to events in previous books.
So, after going to all that trouble to say "this book is not the same as the old ones," I'm going to ruin it all with this - I LOVED THIS BOOK.
It is a true and worthy heir to the Lady Trent series, and I adored every minute of it, though there were perhaps a few passages where I wanted the narrator to just get on with it - mostly I think that was because I was impatient to know what happened next.
The characters were vivid and realistic (I liked that the only fully characterized Draconian in the story had basically asthma). The world was, I want to say, narrower than in the Lady Trent books, but as a consequence it also had room for more focused detail about Scirland and the people that live there. There was also a bit more social drama and political intrigue than I was expecting, and the plot altogether fit under Lady Trent's mantle in a marvelous way.
(I'm sure you didn't seen this coming.)
5 out of 5 for the best and most anticipated read I've had all year. Now, if only I can muster the courage to read The Testaments (the sequel to A Handmaid's Tale) then maybe we can get something really interesting going here about how authors expand known worlds with new works.
If you like the integration of fantasy and worldbuilding in the Dragonriders of Pern series, and you like the snark and self-deprecation of Beatrice Prior in the later Divergent books, then you'll probably like this one.