I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Crown of Tremontane is one of my favorite series, and like it’s predecessors Agent of the Crown does not disappoint.
Agent of the Crown takes us back to Tremontane and the North family this time in the form of Telaine North Hunter, the daughter of Elspeth North and Owen Hunter, who we saw very briefly as a bouncing baby at the end of Rider of the Crown. Telaine is all grown up now and living a double life as the fashion forward belle of every ball she’s ever attended and as one of her Uncle Jeffery’s spies. This is a really fun set up which drives the character arc of the story as Telaine has to decide whether she’s the Princess, the spy or something in between, and in the long run who does she WANT to be. This arc is deftly combined with a political plot which draws her out of her glittering life and firmly puts Telaine somewhere uncomfortable and that’s a great place for a character to be.
As usual the supporting cast is fantastic from Ben the Blacksmith (who I have a huge crush on) to the return of (view spoiler) in all her snarky glory. While there are a lot of townsfolk which we meet, they are distinct enough that I never just lost the personalities in a sea of names and was as tied up in their successes and failures as I was in Telaine’s bigger job. The villains are suitably terrifying and I felt like I understood the various motives in a way that gelled together nicely.
It was also great to get glimpses of characters we know and love including Imogen, Jeffry and Alison.
It’s interesting to see how far the author has come by this book. While I love the whole series the writing here is stronger and tighter and you can see the growth of the author as well as the world and the people in it.
When you get to the short story at the end… All I can say is have tissues on hand. In the best possible way. I’ve read it three times and it gets me right in the feels…every…time.