Don't get me wrong. I like this book. However I do feel that the series is deteriorating as it goes. This is the 3rd of the tales of the 500 kingdoms. I still adore the premise of the Tradition trying to force events into a familiar path, and the use of the various types of magic to nudge the Tradition along more favourable paths. It's just, well, I think I would have preferred a series that dealt with the same cast of characters a bit more. I guess I was hoping for "the tales of the Godmother Elana"
One of the other things that specifically annoyed me about this book was the constant repetition of some ideas - Like Sasha being lucky. It felt like every 3 pages there was some character who popped up and said "well, you are a fortunate fool, you can expect to be lucky" or some such thing. Yeah, I got it the first 5 time. No need to beat me over the head with it - that just makes me feel like you think I'm a bit dim, and no reader likes to feel patronised by the author. At least in a fairy-tale setting one can't feel too nauseated by the happily-ever-after endings.
So, I think I'll give Mercedes Lackey one more chance with this series, and if it is more of the same I'll give up. No point being stubborn, eh? at any rate, I probably won't have to wait too long for book #4 - she seems to be whacking them out at a fair clip. Not that it would be in my nature to be judgmental about such a thing!