Ailill and Ivan are my new favorite couple in this series! I'd been looking forward to reading the rest of their story ever since book 2, and I love how it turned out. I adored how they didn't betray their tough-guy-ness that had been built up so fantastically well in book 2 and suddenly go all mushy in this one. And yet, their scenes--especially near the end--are some of the most romantic in the series.
The other couple in this book, however, frustrated me. Noire was whiny to the point I wanted to start skimming whenever I saw his name on the page. Fortunately right when I was about to give up on him was when things between Gael and him started getting better. He did become significantly less annoying, but it didn't make up for how he'd been...
Getting to explore a fourth country in this one was again delightful, and I continue to be fascinated with the world Ms. Derr has created in this series. I just wish I could have seen some of Verde before everything started to go so badly.
I also appreciate that excuses were given for why nobody caught on to who the poisoner was, but it still frustrated me how obvious it was and how none of them seemed to care enough to put the pieces together in time. I know that's totally my personal hang-up and one of the big reasons I'm not very into mysteries, but I think it's why I couldn't appreciate this one quite as much as I'd wanted to.
Looking forward to seeing how the series ends!