I will admit that I'm really looking forward to the book about Tris and that this did interrupt the journey, but it is one hell of an interruption. I mean it's not as if I've ever not liked a book Pierce has written, though there are definitely series I like less than others. But her stories are always very solid and Battle Magic delivers a damn good one. It's a great addition to the Emelan Universe books and really puts into context as to why Briar is acting like such a little prick in Will of the Empress, and there is no one I wanted to hug more than Evvy.
It's dark, unwavering in how it depicts war, and pushed forward by Pierce's ability to write extremely human characters of both genders (but especially women) as per usual.