I enjoyed this second part, much better than the first book in the nightrunner series.
I believe I was let down by the first book because I wasn't at all drawn in by Seregil's character, he appeared too perfect to me; he had fame, money, knowledge, skills, charisma, good looks, loyal friends etc. It seemed nothing could go wrong for this character, he was too well set up. And poor Alec was continually left behind by Seregil, I always feel resentful when a main character in a book is blinded to the happenings of the wider world, I feel like it's putting blinkers on your eyes while you're reading his point of view..
Having said that about the last book.. this second one was much better for me. Seregil was still almost too perfect, but he had his flaws and his problems, nothing to make him unlikeable at all, but still problems nonetheless! And Alec was brought into the know a little more, becoming a bigger part of the espionage. Although there was still a fair amount of secrecy between all the characters, it wasn't unexplainable, there is a reason why some spys cannot be told the whole secret!
Also this book was a lot darker in places than the first, a lot more gritty and grisly, there were several scenes that were just downright horrific, and I wasn't expecting this level of darkness, but when theres warfare, evil and torture, I suppose it must be depicted!