Book 5 of The Pillars of Reality. Spoilers ahead for the earlier ones. Like a lot of series, it is picking up steam and turning into a flowing story.
For instance, this opens with Mari and Alain working about with Princess Sien how to take a city. (Trick the warlords into thinking they had an escape and ambushing them.) Her work as the daughter of Jules goes on. Her parents and sister arrive -- her father finds it hard to take -- the Mechanics are teaching and spreading, the Mages are considering whether children can be taught to be Mages without the vicious methods used on them, and Mari hears news about certain questions that are being asked about her.
That leads into the main problem of this book, where they have to retrieve certain things. It involves the legend of Mara the Undying, a vampire; scholars afraid of change; a disguise as driftwood; how to sneak into a place by acting boldly; an ancestor and a proposal of marriage; Alain's guilt-tripping Mari into doing something by pointing out he's done the equivalent three times for her, and more.