Big thanks to Ceridwen and her guidance, because I really liked this one.
The world is rich but understandable enough, and the author does not go for info-dumping to ensure it. So, from my point of view, extra kudos for being self-contained.
I don't know how the romance works in other volumes, but there were a lot of positives for me in this one:
- There is a very alpha male. He's very protective, sure. But he's respectful. And he wants his mate to be his equal. Everyone equates capacity for being alpha with capacity for love.
- Consent is a huge thing in-world. At some point, the main male character says consent once does not imply consent again. Like wow, how come we don't see that often. So sexy.
- Main female character is BAMF. Actually, everyone is BAMF, even the grandmother. World of BAMF. But what I like is that it is in a quiet way. We don't see her engage in any huge display of power here, but it's always there, in the dialogue, her hyper-competence, the way she attends to her looks and literally calls it armor, the no-bullshit directness.
- Directly related to that one, the way the romance progresses in a no-bullshit way. Given the uber-praticality of anyone in Silence, and Valentin's commitment it makes sense. It translates into fast paced and big on communication. There are hurdles, but it's more an external, plot related thing. Little to do with hysterical angsty push and pull. Like I said, no bullshit. Such a relief.
I don't know that I will love all of the books in this series, but what I see I like, and will certainly read more Singh soon