This particular story takes place two years after the last. I considered spending some time delving into Uxel's training on Kortholt (might make some short stories on the blog about it later). The thing was that I really wanted these books to be more about her developing and maturing. So book 3 starts with her already more confident. She may have stuff to learn still but she also has a few tricks up her sleeve. This has really unleashed her need for recognition and power.
One of the most interesting things about learning is that it's not always just a steady climb upward. Sometimes we can plateau or even get worse and something before we get better. In Uxel's case, she is certainly changing but she's not quite sure if it's for the better just yet.