Hey all, Dani here.
We’ve made it to Thursday, and that means review time, once again. This is one of my more recent reads, and I absolutely devoured the book…which will make the wait until book three feel like it’s going to take quite a long time. I just like to remind myself that there are plenty of other books I do hope to read through the rest of the year. That’s great.
Oh, and I did make some planning progress for my D&D session on Sunday, so I’m looking forward to the RP and combat that’s awaiting my adventurers. That includes Damian, so it is fun and weird to vaguely talk over some of my ideas, because I don’t want to tell him everything that could happen, but I also really appreciate having someone to bounce my ideas off. Thankfully we’ve made a pretty good system of working with each other on D&D things without using out-of-game knowledge in game.
Anyway, all right, let’s go ahead and jump into the review.
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
ISBN: 1681195119 (ISBN13: 9781681195117)
Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.
Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?
The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.
In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.
Rating: 5 stars
Another amazing read from Brigid Kemmerer. There were a few predictable parts but that was well-balanced with quite a few surprising elements. Oh man, and that epilogue shock…I need the next book already. Wow, this was great. I loved getting more Grey, and being introduced to Lia Mara. There was not enough Harper in this book though. Still, I enjoyed the expanding of the world-building, and I’m excited to see what will happen next.
Okay that’s a very brief little spoiler-free review. After this point I can make no promises of spoilers from the first book, so if you haven’t read that one yet, maybe skip the rest of this review until later.
Alright, so I’m going to assume that if you’re still reading then you have read A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Actually just to be sure someone doesn’t accidentally spoil themselves I’ll put the cover of the first book in now and start talking possible spoiler-y things after the photo. That sounds good.
Seriously though, there was not enough Harper in this book. I loved the friendship/borderline something more that was between her and Grey…though I’m glad that it didn’t become a love triangle because I’m often annoyed by those. Still, though, I wanted more interaction between the two of them. And I wanted more interaction between Grey and Rhen….though I’ll be honest, I did not like Rhen in this book, especially considering everything that happened in the first book.
Like, I understand some of what he was feeling and all of that. He’s pretty much against magic of all kinds after dealing with that curse for so long. But to see how he deals with things and changes and everything in this one…he’s become more of a beast now than he ever was as that monster in the first book. I’m hopeful for a happy ending at the end of the series, but I’m also terrified that not everyone will get a happy ending because of decisions that were made in this book.
Also, it was great to get more of Grey’s perspective in this one, and it was especially nice to meet and get to know Lia Mara. She was actually a really cool character, and she has a lot to deal with from her own position and family issues. Seeing her and Grey start to grow closer and start to trust each other, when they are from two different countries was really cool.
We did get more of Harper’s brother and his boyfriend in this book, which I also really enjoyed. Since a large majority of the story is from Grey and Lia Mara’s perspectives, we didn’t have as much of the dialogue/inner thoughts of a character from our world; it was mostly fantasy chatter. So since we didn’t get much of Harper, at least we got more of the warrior and the healer.
I mentioned the world-building, and that was definitely improved and expanded upon from the first book, which was great. In the first book we were really focused on Prince Rhen and his country, but with the curse broken, the focus can expand out to the neighboring countries which obviously noticed that there was something odd going on during the curse time. Plus there’s the complexities of whether or not Rhen is actually the true heir, and if he isn’t, where is the true heir, which if you’ve read the first book then you know that Grey is the heir. It just ups the drama in the story big time.
Okay, I’ve put off talking about the epilogue, and I’m not going into specifics because that would mean spoilers, but holy crap. How could [redacted] make that deal with [redacted]? If you’ve read this one then you know what I’m talking about? It is just so annoying and frustrating and how could this person do that? It feels like it goes against everything they claim to be.
I am looking forward to January 2021 so I can read A Vow So Bold and Deadly. I need answers.
Where to Get a Copy
You can also check with your local library.