My least favorite of the Rohan series, based on the weak mystery and a general disinterest in the tropes driving the hero and heroine. The Heavenly Host are clearly identified as the "bad guys" from the get go, and having Brandon limp around in an opium haze while Melisande and Benedick take *forever* to solve the mystery was painful considering all the women being raped and mutilated in the background. While Melisande wasn't a Secret Virgin, she was close, and while Benedick plays a good, damaged I-Can-Never-Love-Again hero, the chemistry I enjoyed so much in previous books was lacking. When characters you enjoy get embroiled in over the top, Gothic mischief, it's entertaining. With this group, it was the straw that broke this reader's back.