GoodReads/Amazon Rating: ★★★★★
(Pre-review: As stated above, this review, as it is talking about a sequel, contains spoilers.)
(Post-writing-review: In retrospect this is more a rant/essay on my feelings about this book than a review #sorrynotsorry)
Like I said in my previous review. I ABSOLUTELY did not think Holly Black could possibly disappoint with this sequel. I always ended up feeling like most authors trail off after the success of their initial book of a series. They can produce good material, but it will never top that feeling I had when reading the first book and falling in love with all the characters. That’s where Holly Black proved me wrong. I ADORED this book. I cannot express more love and admiration for this series than I did in my previous review. The characters are consistent, they are three dimensional, they have depth.
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself strong.
After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.
What this book has, that I find a lot of others don’t, is the fact that all the characters, big or small, have their own goal, their own destination they are heading to. They don’t follow fan demands and they don’t relinquish their beliefs and feelings just because they get invested in someone romantically. Even though Cardan and Jude finally get the hook-up we’ve all been craving, they don’t fall victim to instantly being in a relationship and falling in love. They still have strong feelings of hate and anger towards each other. They still want to protect each other. That twist, at the end, was perfect. It felt like an almost Game of Thrones twist. Even knowing fans love the pair together, them being in a relationship doesn’t help fulfil their ultimate goals. The fact Jude finally trusted him, and married him, is heartbreaking but REAL. In real life you fall for people and they break your trust, because it doesn’t suit their current life-plan. You don’t understand why, but it happens.
Taryn and Locke angered me so much in this book. Almost as much as Madoc did. They were selfish, they were greedy and they were extremely evil in terms of their meticulous planning. I LOVED IT. Don’t even get me started on Ghost. The minute I finished this book, I made my friend @TheRoseVieira read it immediately. As soon as she got to the betrayal part she, like me, exclaimed in anger. How DARE he? The ultimate betrayal has, and always will be from somebody you consider to be a close friend.
What I think put a few questions in my head was when Jude was kidnapped and taken underwater. First what happened with Cardan’s brother? Did they have a “brainwashed” relationship? A lot of those scenes were blurred out and left me with questions. Secondly as much as Narcasia’s mother is extremely heartless, I had a level of respect for her (please say I’m not the only one). She is living in a world ruled by men and is trying to level out the playing field. Jude has killed, kidnapped and done more in order to place herself in a good position in court. Nobody in this series is innocent or “good” which is why I think Holly Black has nailed both the concept, and the writing.
When I found out the third book is coming out January 2020 I almost cried and started searching for anyone to give me some sort of ARC. I am extremely excited to see how Holly Black continues this fantastic series.
Language & Style: 9 points
Story: 9 points
Characters: 10 points
Plot: 9 points
Total: 37 points out of 40
Favourite Quote: “Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”