Like The Misted Cliffs before it, The Dawn Star seemed to take a little while to get going, but once it did, the story flew.
Asaro has created a fascinating world here, that gets more complicated as she ties all the various countries up into various alliances. I'm glad there is a second trilogy coming so I can find out how the events of this book change the future of the settled lands.
I love all the characters as well. I was initially annoyed when first Drummer and later Jade were introduced - I wanted to know more about Mel and Cobalt, not be sidetracked by new characters. However, I was quickly won over. Now I want to know more about Jade and Drummer as well as Cobalt and Mel. Oh, and more about Chime and Muller and most of all, more about Iris and Jarid.
Jarid and Iris actually remain my favourites in this series and I wish they'd got a full book instead of just a novella. Ah well, I can always go and reread Moonglow.
One of the lovely things about Mel and Cobalt's developing relationship in this book is the way neither of them has turned into a perfect hero or heroine. They function really well together and temper each other perfectly, but they need each other and alone neither is anything as strong. Or, especailly in Cobalt's case, as balanced. He needs Mel, not so much to keep him in check, but to keep him in touch with parts of himself he doesn't really believe are there.
As for Drummer and Jade, theirs is just a lovely - if complicated - romance and I thoroughly enjoyed how it played out.
My biggest - and really only - complaint is simply that the book isn't long enough to give everyone the screen time and character development they deserve, leaving me feeling vaguely unfulfilled. I've had a lovely meal, but I'm still kind of hungry.