After my experience with the first book, well, actually before reading the first book, I found this one for free on Amazon. Like most free books on Amazon, I bought it. Hey, can't argue with pricing like that. This is stated as #1.5 in the series, but can actually be read before the series, since it is merely the telling of Raeth's ordeal on the queen's ship four years before the events of the first book in the trilogy.
I wasn't sure what I was going to get with this book. In fact, I hadn't even read the blurb, so I wasn't sure what part of the story it would be telling. And I'm kind of glad it was a surprise, because it allowed me a pleasant "Oh!" when figuring out it would be in Raeth's point of view.
The layout of this novella is really nice. I love how each new chapters is headed with information about Raeth, or at least information about how Raeth will be in the chapter. I also love how well it flows. I mean, I saw no problem with it. And it was nice to see Semara from her eyes, and how she kind of double crosses the queen, using her need for followers and people to agree with her against her.
This part of the story just builds upon Raeth's strength. Many Neumarians would have probably died long before her, and seeing Ryder save her just marks them both as amazing individuals. This is, without a doubt, one of the best parts of the Neumarian Chronicles, at least in my eyes.