Sometimes I give a meh book three stars because, hey, there's nothing really wrong with it; and other times, I give a great book four stars because it was REALLY GOOD but it could have been amazing. Arbitrary, I know, unfair too, but there we are.The Lodestar of Ys is excellent. It has meaty worldbuilding, a marriage of convenience straight from a classic romance novel, and enemies-to-lovers with lots of snark--it's fabulous. And because it is so good, I was vexed by the things that kept it from being superb, most of which boil down to "not enough action". We hear about the battles, the looming menace of the empire, the mages and mist hounds and magic, but we don't see enough of it. The prolonged tour of the islands of Ys is lovely, but I think it takes up too much of this novella, considering everything else that is going on. There is enough story here for a full-length novel, or a series even, and I hope the author continues with this world.Highly recommended.