What I like about what Holly Black is doing with this series is that we as the readers do not get what we want, or at the very least what we expect. We expect the romance, we expect it to overcome obstacles and other desires, and we expect it to be the forefront of the story. And while the love story is still part of the plot, it's not what drives it forward.
It's a great take, and it leaves you frustrated. The cliffhanger at the end of this book is enraging because I have to wait for the release of the next before I find out what happens and that is still months away. BUT what this book does is show growth in the characters. They are all changing from the people they were in The Cruel Prince in very interesting ways. Some not as much as others, and if I could get into Cardan's head, I'd be very, very happy because he intrigues me so.
I love and adore the faerie world Holly has created here, and think that this was an excellent installment in the series. A good link between the first and the third. One that shows that even if you win the first time, you might not come out on top the next.