Couples Corner #1: Isana and Fade. Fade gets poisoned and Isana tries to save him. Easy enough, right? Well, these parts throughout the entirety of the book serve you on a gold flecked platter all the questions you've had before about Isana. Yes, she is Tavi's mother. Yes, he is Septimus' son. (Almost typed Optimus there and we'd have a Transformer.) Yes, her and Fade go way back. But Butcher uses her memories combined with healing Fade and discovering his memories to reveal the truth of everything that happened the fateful day that Septimus died. Fade's selfless love for Isana, after knowing everything he'd gone through and sacrificed is both heartbreaking and beautiful, so his reward at the end of the book hits hard.
Couples Corner #2: Bernard and Amara. The two have become inseparable, especially after Amara skips her period and could possibly be pregnant. They go on a top-secret-Gaius-cursor trip to help stop Kalare and save Lady Placidia and the other unimportant chick. But, bringing Lady Aquitaine and her cronies are where things get sticky. They fight Kalare and Amara saves Rook's daughter as well as the captives, but the most important interactions are between her and Lady Aquitaine. A lot of well placed mistrust leads Amara to take the upper hand at the very end when Lady Aquitaine tries to force her onto her side and lucky for them since Odiana and Aldrick could very well throw down some hurtin'. Although Amara ends up not pregnant, Bernard and her are eager to keep trying....like in every book. (Regardless, those passages never get old)
Couples Corner #3: Tavi and Kitai. More Tavi than anything, this is his book where he really shines. From Cursor to Captain after an ill fated explosion, he turns from the small child we see in the first book into a man in this one, taking command of an entire Legion against the biggest Canim threat Alera's ever seen. Tavi really comes into his own as Septimus' son and the heir, even impressing the First Spear, Fidelias in disguise. In pure Butcher fashion, there's even a moment where the two hordes are on either side and Tavi takes some time to play ludus (chess) with Nausaug, the Canim Battlemaster. Absolutely fantastic. But on the Tavi and Kitai scale, their most important moment hits near the end, when they're ready to get busy. First Tavi, then Kitai discover they've developed the ability to furycraft, effectively dropping the biggest storybomb yet.