Josetta is a Princess in Welce. Because she is not next in line for the throne she has more freedom to pursue her interests. She chooses to work in the poorest part of the city helping those in need. While working in the slums, she encounters the gambler Rafe as he saves her sister's life. Josetta is intrigued by his lack of elemental blessings that mark everyone from Welce. During their adventures, she discovers how his lack of blessings is part of the reason people are trying to kill him.
Royal Airs is the second book in the Elemental Blessings series. This was one of the books I had wanted to read from the moment I heard about it. I love Sharon Shinn's books. Consequently, this was one of the biggest disappointments I've had reading in a while. It barely felt like it was part of the same series. Shinn usually draws you into the fantasy world she creates. I could not engage in this book as it did not seem a natural part of this world. It seemed forced.
Normally, the characters Shinn creates are much more interesting. They have flaws, they change and grow. They have clear motivations that fit with their character. It was strange to encounter such bland characters in one of her worlds. There was a distinct shallowness to the characters that is not typical of Shinn's work. Also, the world is transitioning to the use of technology, and it was not well handled in this book. This was also strange, because Shinn has done this in her Archangel series and handled it well.
I felt bewildered reading this book. It is not indicative of Shinn's capabilities as an author. There were a few parts that seemed to fit with the series, but they never lasted long. I do not know what happened with this book. I hope with the next part of the series she writes will return to her usual captivating work.