While I found many a typo (at least in my copy, idk about all of them), I was still very pulled in by Schwab's writing style, and she has definitely solidified a permanent place in my favorite authors list.
The plot was slower, a lot slower than A Darker Shade of Magic was, and that was kind of disappointing and annoying at times, because the scenes I wanted weren't always the scenes I got, and the scenes I got likewise weren't always the scenes I wanted. However, the last part—and that cliffhanger!!!!!!!!!—really saved this book, as it brought together all the plot threads and reinvigorated me, definitely ensuring I will be continuing this series.
Kell: As usual, he was my favorite character. His alterego as Kamerov was exciting and explored a whole new side of his character. The injustices against him by the king and queen, as well as Arnesian society as a whole, were very upsetting and I really empathized with him. It gave me some serious Jace in City of Ashes vibes.
Lila: I actually liked her in the first book, but she was just so dang annoying in this one. She was constantly doing things only for herself, without any regard for others (specifically Kell), and her recklessness and narcissism really got on my bad side. She did, however, get more interesting abilities and a more important role in the plot.
Alucard: Basically everything that was wrong with Lila was partially learned from him, and in case it isn't clear, I really don't like this guy. He's a douchebag.
Rhy: I loved getting to learn more about Rhy, with him finally playing an important role in the story. His struggle with the effects of the soul-seal was very well-executed and effective.
Holland: I had a dream while reading this book that I fell in love with him and he brought me to White London, so I think that explains how much I love this character. Everything that was effective in the last book was ten-times as effective in this one, and I lived for his perspective/the White London scenes!!! They kept me reading, honestly, when so much of the book was just Lila being a brat.
Osaron: Heck yeah, big bad's back and he's better than ever, this time with the name Osaron and even more magical schemes, as well as an entire burnt-out parallel universe he calls home sweet home, but he wants more! And he's gonna do whatever it takes to get it!
Ojka: She was so interesting to read. From the moment she appeared, I was totally invested in her. I'm so very excited to see what she does/becomes of her in the next book!
Hastra: My baby Hastra was so sweet and I just loved him so much. Kell needed him. Everyone needs a Hastra (an Hastra? idk English is weird).
It was a somewhat stormy ride, but I'm very glad I read it, because that last chapter was fantastic! This book really felt more like the first book in a series, with ADSoM its prequel, because of the pacing, the characters, and the conflicts. While I didn't like it nearly as much as I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, I still really enjoyed it and highly recommend it!