Sinclair, Alison -- Lightborn

Second book of the country where half the population can't survive sunlight and the other half can't survive without it. Despite the title, this book is divided between Lightborn viewpoint characters and the Darkborn Lady Telmaine of the first book. The difference, it turns out, is that the Darkborn have a Regency-I-guess formal society, with all the familiar trimmings, plus a soupcon of socially unacceptable magic. Whereas the Lightborn are all over magic -- understandably, as they need it to survive each night -- and also have a formal society of advancement through assassination, at least in the noble families. Result: any given Lightborn noble has been shot, poisoned, and dismembered any number of times, and healed (they hope) just as often. Result, and I'm pretty sure the author intended this explicitly: they are all batfuck insane. Murderous paranoid psychopaths with a creamy posttraumatic filling. The Darkborn who have to deal with them aren't much better (the spymaster is a piece of work, and I do mean well-written). Against this background, murderous paranoid psychopathic plots play out. We don't learn a hell of a lot about the underlying Shadowborn plot, but that's the title of the third book, so I look forward to the conclusion.

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