By Cayla Kluver
Expected publication: February 28th 2012 
Published by HarlequinTeen 
Source: Net Galley

Summary taken from Goodreads:

Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. He couldn't help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep-blue eyes pierced me and held me captive.

An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return...

Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn't truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica-until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge.

Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn....

This book improved on the first book immensely.  There was generally more action, more romance, and better dialogue.  The author spent less time describing what the characters wore and spent more time developing the characters.  I found my self eager to find out what happened to each of the characters.

Alera went through an interesting evolution in this book.  She became less selfish and inward focused and became more caring about the people around her (although it was neither a short or easy journey).  This book focuses on the war between the Cokyrians and Hytanica and does a great job describing the war without getting into the gritty details of war (it is not glossed over, yet is not gruesome). 

Personally, I dislike the dedication Alera and the author seem to have for Narian.  I have little love for this character.  He has made many choices that make him seem much less the hero and much more the villan. I know that this is the author's story and I have yet to see its completion, but for now- I am rooting for Steldor!  

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