I'd really give this 3.5 stars, but we all know Goodreads doesn't deal in half stars. (Stupid Ratings system). I found the first half of the book draggy and lacking the excitement of the first volume of the trilogy. We were introduced to a myriad of new characters, seemingly all at once and they all sort of got mixed up together to the point that I had no idea who was who in history and whether they were considered creatures or not. I also missed a bit of a refresher about what happened in the first book, A Discovery of Witches. It's been a while, after all, a year or so, I think, between publications. The best part of the first half were the chapters dealing with Diana and Matthew's stay with Phillipe. The second half of the book picked up. Diana and Matthew were actually DOING something instead of basically keeping secrets from each other. We also met Anne and Jack - two of my favourite characters in the book - and got to see Diana make considerable progress in her search for her witchy powers. :)The last twist - or twists - were interesting. I won't give them away here, but one kind of fell out of nowhere and had no context - almost as if we were missing a chapter or two of what was going on in present time. And the second was a pleasant twist that I quite enjoyed but might seem as pandering to some. So now starts the wait for the last of the trilogy - and please, all the little gods and goddesses - let it be the last one. I am SO tired of all these "so and so need their own story" off-shoots of books. So and so doesn't always need their own story, really.