I read most of Friedman’s novels years ago and thought she was a stand out with genuine talent. (Her early sci-fi-fantasy mash-up, The Madness Season, remains part of my mental landscape years later.) So encouraged by my luck with The Name of the Wind, I ignored the god-awfullest cover I’d seen in years and read the first of her new series. It had a rocky start and was far from groan-free, but once it got going, it was a good read.
Friedman has a skill for building complexity in layers, scene by scene. It’s astonishing how much she gets (and keeps) in the air by the book’s end.