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There is so much I really enjoyed about this second book in The Enslaved Chronicles. Miara and Aven make it "safely" home to Estun, his mountain home/castle in Akaria, only to confront the suspicions and prejudices of family and "friends." One aspect of the story that I personally savored is that we don't need any trumped up angst between Miara and Aven in order to be completely drawn into the story line. The characters are so well written and stay true to form as we have come to know them in book one, Mage Slave. Although they face situations seemingly designed to cause division between them . . . and, indeed, are separated for some very critical situations in this segment . . . their commitment and connection are never truly in question.
Whereas, a second book in a trilogy is often seen as mere fluff as compared to the buildup of the world and characters in book one, I definitely did not find this to be the case with Mage Strike. We meet new characters who in no way felt like 'filler' to carry on the existing story line. I was fully intrigued by Jaena and, even moreso, by Ro...and can't wait to learn more of their story and background. There are an abundance of intriguing characters and a number of villains as well.
Overall, I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys fantasy, warfare, romance, world-building, and magic. The romance is strong but does not outweigh the overall theme of magic or the struggles of warfare. The characters are appealing, intriguing and, sometimes, despicable.
I'm definitely moving directly on to book three, Star Mage. (Also, if you are an Audible listener, the narration is well done by Tanya Eby.)