For some reason, I keep labeling her as Sharon R Green, even though there is no R in her author name.
Competitions by Sharon Green picks up about where the last one left off, with our 5 main characters about to start their masteries over their element. However, here we get to meet what will become the 5 primary antagonists (eventually). Bron (Fire), Selindi (Air), Homin (Water), Delin, (earth) and Kambil (Spirit). These five are one of the 5 Noble blendings, one plotting to win the competition over the Nobility (and Advisors) hand picked winners. Given all 5 are mildly deranged....
We also get a bit more of Lady Eltrina, who's arranging our primary blending on behalf of the Advisors. Eltrina's motivation in all of this is to take her boss's job and get rid of her husband. That she also has intentions of taking Vallant Ro as her love toy after they lose is of little consequence. Also, the current Seated High in Fire (whom we don't have a name for as of yet) has similar designs on Tamarissa.
Rion, in this book, does manage to briefly find Naran again, for one night of pleasure.
Vallant and Tamarissa spend much of the book fighting over silly things.
Jovvi and Lorand also spend much of the book not speaking.
However, the 5 main characters do start figuring out exactly how badly the deck is stacked against them, since every competition is to gauge how much power they have and how best to control them. The Noble blending, while not given much to do in this book beyond some fairly petty intrigues involving framing their advisor for murder, do manage to give the reader some improtant information the main characters aren't privy to at this time. (Mostly timeline issues, as well as setting up the next book, since the chosen Blending is set to face off against our main characters first when the battles begin.)
Honestly, most of the big payouts are a book or two away, so most of this is setting the stage and filling in the background on what our as of yet Unnamed Empire has been doing for the past 300 years. Still fun. Looking forward to finishing this journey soon.