I liked this one better than book 1 - the story continues to develop and the events move forward apace.
I hate King Gaius. Can someone just off that sociopathic fuckstick already, please?
The four main characters: Magnus, Jonas, Cleo & Lucia, continue to develop. My favorite is still Jonas, the rebel. Magnus irritates the shit out of me because he is such a mealy mouthed little fucker, although in fairness, his father is a murderous piece of shit, so his instinct for self-preservation is semi-understandable. Cleo has gone from being dumb as a box of hammers to being half as dumb as a box of hammers. At this rate, by book 6, she'll be able to join Mensa. And Lucia remains a cipher, but it would be great if she could figure out something about controlling her magic.
There is a lot going on in this series: there are mysteries piled upon mysteries and plots piled upon plots. I'm just not sure that Rhodes is going to be able to pull it off and keep my interest, and the forward momentum, through six books. I'm jumping on into book 3: Gathering Darkness.