This was just as captivating and intense on the second time reading as the first. Karina Halle has such an amazing talent for developing characters and plots. The way she allows the reader to feel what the characters feel and get caught up in their lives seems so effortless and natural. I find myself thinking about the whole "show us, don't tell us" line with so many other authors. Karina Halle does more than show the reader; somehow, what the characters feel is transported into you instead of just hanging out on the page. (I can't quite describe it right. There's a reason I stick to being a professional reader and not a writer). You don't have to like who these people are or what choices they make, but you will find yourself caring about them and rooting for them. This is a great book and a great series. You can't go wrong with Karina Halle.
And of course all of my notes/updates we're mysteriously switched from percentage to page at some point. Grr.