Juliet Marillier's Tower of Thorns
The second book in Marillier's Blackthorn and Grim series (after Dreamer's Pool) is a pretty strong followup to the first, as Blackthorn and Grim have to deal with breaking a curse--with the company of an old friend of Blackthorn's. Both characters are still totally traumatized by PTSD (partially caused, interestingly, by imprisonment) and their friendship and reliance on each other is really unusual for the fantasy books I read--and I appreciate that SO MUCH. We also get Grim's backstory this time, which manages to be fitting and a bit unexpected. Some of this was a little predictable, but the central relationship is great and I actually really liked all the monks in this one. I am really into Marillier's world-building and can't wait for the next one. A-.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in November.