This is a joint review but the second book gets more mention than the first. I read both books back to back and they were impossible to put down, I could not stop reading! Argyle painted such a rich and vibrant world and interesting characters that as a reader you can’t help but be drawn in. The narrative is well paced and the climax does not disappoint. The cover is what drew me initially to the book and I think it is absolutely stunning! Love the covers of both the books. A lot of times the cover (featuring an illustration or a model) does not really fit in with the character, but this was not one of those times. Perfect covers!In Brusenna we have a heroine who is vulnerable, strong, independent and yet she remains very relatable. Not some parable of female strength that you can’t connect with. I loved how she grew from the first book to the second. Also, the way she tried to come to grips with the role she suddenly found thrust upon her. She made a very compelling heroine, one that easy to root for. The secondary characters were also very well developed and likeable (well maybe not Ellesh and Grendi they were positively vile) Joshen was a little irritating this time around, but then he came to his senses. Reden’s a great character. Even in the fisrt book, when we first come across him, there is a sense that he’s going to serve a greater role in the story than just cannon fodder. I can’t say that I like Mistin very much she was ok in the beginning and sure she seemed to come around at the end when she sailed out on a boat to save Redden and Joshen, but Argyle didn’t really give us a chance to really warm up to her the second time (actually she doesn’t even appear in the narrative except as a passing mention). I loved Desni and Prenny definitely grew on me. I liked her no-nonsense style and prickly manner that was a good contrast to the other Heads. And how could I possible forget Bruke, I fell in love with that Wolfhound, I want one now!! He was so adorable!All in all, I thought this book was a great and a very rewarding read and the part I like best is that Argyle didn’t unnecessarily stretch the story to squeeze in a third book. That is such an irritating gimmick a lot of authors have started adopting. I think it is cheap and frankly an insult to your readers. Definitely worth a read!