In terms of the story, I enjoyed that this was more of a domestic situation rather than a real military crime, though the plot had continuation elements of the previous book that kept it not only logical but within the realm of possibility. I liked that previous events had relevance, that nothing was cleanly swept under the rug or perfectly resolved. I liked that politics had its place, that decisions weren't always under Varazda or Damiskos' control, despite their positions of power and authority.
It felt more realistic to know that some things were ignored, overlooked, missed, or unexplored due to life getting in the way, or not appearing important at the time. It was also refreshing to see them working as a team without hesitation, both with Damiskos' setting aside his military persona to become soft and flirty with Varazda, while Varazda recalled their military expedition from the previous book and became more comfortable around Damiskos. They both opened up a lot and shared more, in this book, which was nice, because it was realistic for two people who really hadn't spent a lot of time together and were still learning about each other.
“I’ve never had a lover I’d have been ashamed to kiss in the street. I don’t now.” He looked Varazda in the eye. “Want me to prove it?”