I feel like this volume takes a step back from the previous book, Shadow Kiss, in terms of pacing and suspense. There are elements to its construction which simply didn't work very well for me. One of these is the fact that Rose departs the world that Richelle Mead has crafted for three novels in search of Dimitri in Russia, leaving behind first-hand experiences with all the characters there we've come to know. We do get a chance to spy on their doings through Rose's connection with Lissa, but it isn't the same. Then the reader meets a bunch of Russian characters that we ultimately have little interest in. Things did pick up in the second half of the story, but the writing seemed thinner than usual. I'm starting to realize that the whole thing about vampires and sunlight only applies when the author remembers to apply it.