This book takes place over almost exactly the same period as Moreta. However, its not a rehash of those events, as it is written from a different person’s perspective. There are enough points where the two story lines meet for the books to make sense as a pair, and I’d recommend reading them back to back.
This book is an incredibly fast read (I knocked it over in a few hours on a flight), and its a bit more positive than Moreta, which has a pretty sad ending. However, this book isn’t the happiest book ever written either.
I’ve seen commentary that says this book is mostly about how unattractive Nerilka is physically. I dispute that though — the book is about how the human spirit is more important than breeding or good looks, and how Nerilka’s efforts to do the right thing in a time of crisis have a lasting impact.
I enjoyed this book.