3.5 stars. A fairly pale imitation of other IAD novels. The Dacian connection and the tournament for Bettina's hand were the best parts for me. Also the secondary characters, the gruesome opponents, and visitors from past books kept me interested. But by the last third, the weak 'love-triangle' plot became very unbelievable. Bettina's wishy-washy behaviour started to frustrate and bore me. Still an enjoyable story for fans but I wouldn't start the author's books with this one.