Kings of the North. Elizabeth Moon.
Not those kings! This is also a semi-medieval/semi-fantasy series of books but quite different from George R.R. Martin.
The story here has moved to hints about Alured the Black as a villain and hints about Dorrin Verrakai’s royal heritage (maybe). Lots of hints and threads loose here (as befits a middle book).
A really good, solid story that is so engaging I am having trouble stepping away to sleep. So…. perfect!