I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
While I still adored the art, it wasn't on the same level as the first volumes, at least not in my opinion. Sonia and Malikai's relationship is still grating to me, especially since they played with the love triangle trope here.
But the world continues to get larger, adding more characters, more species - or expanding now what I knew about existing species - and it's still something I'm just devouring out of pure enjoyment. Yes, I took a break earlier today because I went to the beach with my mom and I didn't want to bring my laptop. (I left Vin at home and took Viv instead, so I had some digital comics to occupy me!)
But I fell back into this world as soon as I got back into the house. I'm still wishing this felt more fleshed out, on the political landscape, and I'm still okay with it not going there. There's enough to occupy me, and engage me, without that aspect.
I'm also really enjoying magic in the world, what it's allowing Rainier to do, and how magic and technology are living side by side - and sometimes closer. It gets a little creepy, but manages to make Rainier all that much creepier. And that's perfect: we keep getting told how creepy he is, and although we've seen some of that, it's nice to see just how creepy he is. Then again, I like a little creepy in my stories.
Mal is kinda turning into a Gary Stu, but I don't really mind, just like I don't mind my Mary Sues so long as I enjoy the world and stories. (Like in the Black Jewel stories.)
I'm just gonna quit babbling and move onto volume three.