This is one of those books where you forgive the writing problems because the story is so intriguing. It's a steampunk adventure romance where humankind have been driven to the equatorial regions by powerful vampire clans who have taken over the cooler North. Many years after the original Killing, the princess of Equatoria, Adela, is being married off to an ambitious military leader from America to combine their two kingdoms and start a war to defeat the vampires. On a voyage to the outer provinces Adela is kidnapped by vampires and rescued by the mysterious Greyfriar. During their flight across England Adele learns things that make her question her views and loyalties.
The steampunk is introduced well but seems to fall by the wayside as the story progresses. There is a fair amount of head-hopping from one POV to another and sudden jumps in time that make the transitions between events feel rushed or lacking in some way. I was surprised when I saw the book was professionally published because these problems are usually picked up by editors.
But despite my reservations the storyline is absorbing. It's full of action and fight scenes and the two protagonists are appealing. It's impossible not to engage with Adele. She's a smart, capable heroine and her fledgling romance with Greyfriar is beset with so many insurmountable obstacles that I feel I have to read on and find out what happens to them. Greyfriar is a curious hero. Powerful and swashbuckling one minute then childlike and lonely the next. I have no idea how he can possibly win the day and again it makes me very interested to keep going.