Content Warning: Blood, Violence
The second book is better than the first. Still feels like I’m pushed out of the story instead of pulled in, like arm-lengths away. I actually fell in love with two side characters, Zarrah and Lara’s brother, Keris, whom I believe are the main characters of the third book, more so than I did with any of the main characters. It was all kind of bland and the ending felt like a cop-out.
- A map!
- Keris and Zarrah
- Dry and political plot
- The ending was cheesy
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
I cannot believe the ending. I wanted Lara to be redeemed but she was redeemed by the second half of an old wives tale that we haven’t heard until now? It seems like a cop-out. I wouldn’t trust a queen who betrayed her kingdom. i don’t need to know the inner workings of what happened. It’s enough for me to know that she is capable of damming the people. However, it was a good redemption arc for Lara and an easy way for Aren to have her back.
I will say that the book was action packed and covered a lot of ground. I enjoyed the journey more in this installment. Each action/reaction made sense and was well thought out, but the characters did it in for me. The same conflict/conversation was rehashed through the entire book and it got tiring. Give me something new to talk about instead of your shame and indecisiveness. Talk. It. Out! Communicate! Lara and Aren could have come up with a plan or something and worked together instead of against each other.
Lara was more likable in this book now that she isn’t a “one track mind” character. She tried her damnest to redeem herself, which is admirable, and she had a pretty good redemption arc. I just wish it was justified in a different way. She went through hell in this book, and that was oddly satisfying, especially since all of Ithicana could have been killed because of her, their Queen.
I enjoyed his internal conflict between loving Lara and leading/protecting his kingdom. It’s a tough sacrifice and it was portrayed well. He felt more whinny in this installment though because he couldn’t have it both ways, which got old. He was indecisive and so not like a king. Like get a hold of yourself and protect your kingdom.
I liked Lara’s sisters, but they felt over powered in a sense. Like they were too much. Maybe that was the point because they were raised that way, but they had a superior air about them that I didn’t particularly care about.
I loved Keris and Zarrah the most. They had a chemistry about them and I wanted to see more of them in this book. I also surprisingly liked the grandma and her badassery in this installment versus the first book. She wasn’t taking shit from Lara and she was making it known.
Again, I felt like I was worlds away from the characters/action versus right up there with them. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t connect with them well. There was also a lot of time skips, like when Aren and Lara were in the desert. I would have loved to know more about their conversations, them making camp, etc.
I don’t think I’ll finish this series even though I adored Zarrah and Keris more than the rest of the characters. I just don’t think I can take being in this world again. The idea and premise were good, I wish it was executed a bit better and had a more personal writing style. It is what it is, though.
What did you think of the book? Did you like it or could you have done without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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