Content Warning: Bullying/Harassment
Well, it kind of sucked. I didn’t enjoy this series like I thought I would. Very political and logical. There was hardly a story outside of that. There was so much missing from this book. The lack of Cardan x Jude, Cardan’s character development to actually caring for Jude (which we would have seen in the letters he wrote to her if it wasn’t for the damn exclusive release to Barns and Noble), and general plot development. Nothing much happened until about halfway through the book and even then it was “who cares?”
- A map!
- Surprising ending
- Grima Mog
- Too happy of a ending
- Loose ties/unanswered questions
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The “romance” plot felt so forced between Jude and Cardan. They hate each other; it’s a toxic relationship, not need to turn it on it’s head and make it a nice romance. (Thought that’s what I thought I was getting into with this series due to the fanart.)
There’s a few issues I had with the plot:
- I wish there was something about Jude becoming immortal or having the option for it. It was hinted at and it feels like a let down to not even have that option.
- What about Jude’s mom? There was a secret hinted at, but nothing ever came of it.
- And Lady Asha? She was portrayed as an antagonist, but nothing ever came of her. She was just there at the end.
- If Madoc is banished and Oak still lives with Vivi, won’t Madoc still have access to corrupt/influence Oak before he becomes king?
The whole revenge and anger driven themes seem to fall away in this book. Jude seems more lenient with pardoning Taryn and giving Madoc a light sentence. Nothing really amounted to anything. No one was held accountable.
The ending was weak, even if Cardan was a giant snake. I just didn’t make sense. It felt out of the blue and there wasn’t really any fighting. At least none that we see. Jude is ready in her armor, and then nothing. And the epilogue was cheesy af. Too out of character and happy for such a toxic and gruesome book.
There’s not growth. zero. She’s the same wanna-be badass or tries too hard to be badass. I’m over her. Throw her out. NEXT!
We see a softer side of Cardan in this book, almost like Black is going for a redemption arc, but Cardan truly doesn’t deserve/need it. He’s an asshole and a bully. It’s almost ingrained in him. I don’t really want that to change, though.
I’m all for the bad-boy with the tragic past, but Cardan does not check that box for me. I can’t stand the bullying. That’s were I draw the line.
Surprisingly, I don’t hate Madoc. I’m not sure if it’s the way he’s written or if it’s because the story doesn’t really have any consequences, but he’s an okay guy in my book (with a few exceptions).
I still hate Taryn. I think her whole part in the beginning of this book felt rushed and added last minute, just as a way to get Jude back to Elfhame. It honestly seemed out of character for Taryn who would never hurt a fly, but then kills her husband? Okay, whatever.
Grima Mog was hands down the best character in the entire series and I will die on that hill.
The writing is simple and easy to read through. There’s nothing special about how it flows or the images it creates. It’s just kind of there.
I did not like the series, yet I had to finish them. There was something alluring about the general fae world in these books that kept me. That and Taryn being a betrayer. That was good shit. Speaking of, there didn’t seem to be any real consequences. Taryn wasn’t reprimanded for betraying Jude or killing Locke, her father wasn’t truly punished for trying to stage a coup, and no one died. BORRRINGG.
However, I did enjoy the plot twist of Cardan turning into the giant snake. For the sake of the series and my love/distaste of it, I do wish Jude had to kill Cardan and rule by herself. I think that would have been a fitting end instead of the unusual happy vibes at the end. For such a dramatic and kind of gruesome book, everyone got away scot-free. Honestly, it felt as if this book was rushed or not supposed to happen. The series could have ended after The Wicked King and I would have been content.
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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