After the tumultuous events in Sword Dance, Varazda is looking forward to hosting his new friend Damiskos at his home in Boukos. The plan is for a sedate sojourn and the opportunity to get to know each other better in a lowkey environment free from the high-stakes political intrigue and drama that affected their introduction to each other.

Apparently, this is too much to ask for—between another assassination plot and the vicious attack [checks notes]… goose, this second meeting is just as chaotic as the first. It seems as though poor Varazda and Dami will never get their well deserved vacation together.

This was a good book. The pace is fairly quick; it seemed as though as soon as one aspect was resolved, another issue popped up. The whole thing was reminiscent of a comedy of errors, and I didn’t want it to end.

Demas has crafted a fictional ancient world civilization, modeled after the Greeks, and the worldbuilding is fantastic. The narrative is infused with unique details on the food, culture, history, and more.

As for the romance, I adore Varazda and Dami. They’ve certainly come a long way; their days of mutual suspicion have morphed into days of mutual adoration. They come from completely different worlds, but they have found common ground in each other, and their unique perspectives provide them with a fuller picture of whatever they’re trying to solve.

I would absolutely recommend Saffron Alley. Readers should begin with Sword Dance; this isn’t really a standalone. But for those of you who are ready for the sequel, you are in for quite a treat. Varazda and Dami have the best banter, and it’s so fun to watch them work together. They also have the most delightful chemistry. And finally, a chaotic murder goose is always a welcome addition. I’m looking forward to reading the final book in the trilogy in the future.    

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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