Right after the high caused by reading the first book in the series, it was obvious I couldn't give By Fire Above a fair rating. It would be pretty hard to top that one and, indeed, I enjoyed this book a little less. But just a little. Mostly set on the ground and (un)focused on too many characters, it lacked that weird and fascinating vibe that the battles in the first book brought. But I have to admire the courage of Robyn Bennis to take the story of an airship and make the sequel about anything else but.
Yet what it lost in fascination it gained in depth: a glimpse of the noble's world, a way to explain Josette's personal history and touch on her romantic inclinations, ground skirmishes and sieges, covert operations and so on. I was more interested in air battles than the detailed emotional lives of people, but then that's just me.
It almost felt like the setup for a grand new adventure in a following book, yet after writing the first two books in 2018 and 2019, nothing has come up from Bennis in 5 years other than participating in some short story collections and a short novel about the devil. She hasn't written anything in her blog since 2017, which being on Blogspot is not that surprising, but it is a bit off for a writer.
Bottom line: I loved the first book and this one was quite enjoyable, too. However, knowing now that there isn't likely to be a third book any time soon, I would recommend you stick to reading The Guns Above only.