I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
While still a great read, probably my least favorite of the three (and a half) so far in the series. A crises of faith, of sorts, is visited upon Charles and the readers are the spectators as he makes every obvious, clichéd mistake on his path to enlightenment. Fortunately, while this is a main theme in the story, it's not constantly front and center - there's too much of the main plot going on for Charles' crises to feel cloying.
The plot was amongst the darkest I've read of Ms. Briggs books. Torture, the feeding-off of pain, misery and agony. Very distasteful themes. The ultimate villain was immediately obvious to me, but it didn't detract much from the story, because I was reading the book for the characters: Charles and Anna. Without these characters, written as well, and as likeable as they are, I'd never have started this series.