Although this is the second in a series it is able to be read as a standalone without leaving you confused. I would still recommend reading the first book simply because it is enjoyable and adds to the story. This is an alternate history that I feel is done quite well. I admit I’m not an expert on any of the places or people but they do feel well-researched and authentic as far as their core. The cast of characters feel well fleshed out and are enjoyable to follow. The writing is well done and easy to understand. The plot, while I raised an eyebrow at it, turns out to be intriguing and enjoyable to read. Overall this is a nicely compiled alternate history that I can easily recommend to those who enjoy that genre or who are curious about it. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.