Bit of a slow start but it definitely ensnared me in the end!
Kazi is a reformed thief who has worked her way up to become one of the Queen of Verdan’s esteemed Rahtan soldiers. Jase is the new patriarch of the Ballenger dynasty after the shocking, sudden death of his father. Kazi is sent by the Queen on a secret mission to find and capture a wanted war criminal and Jase and the Ballenger family are believed to be harboring the fugitive.
Like I said it started off a little slow and confusing for me. We are kind of thrown straight into the story with lots of different names and locations and it took me around the first 100 pages or so to be situated in the storyline.
Kazi is a wonderful character. I love that she is so competent and sure of herself, yet she still carries those feelings and memories of her youth with her and uses them to strengthen herself. To see where she has come from and how dire and desperate her situation was to the bright, daring, dangerous woman she is now is admirable! She is very multifaceted and is quite unique I feel as the main female protagonist.
I love how committed Jase is to his family and his oaths as the Patrei. We see how engrained it is in his demeanor and actions throughout the course of the book. I like how we get to know the real Jase before we see the Patrei side and how they differ. Another character that is complex and rooted around the concept of family and loyalty and trust. Once that is broken there is no turning back with the Ballengers.
I also appreciate how the romance aspect plays a role in the story, it isn’t just written in for the sake of it. I kind of like the hate to love trope but throwing the backstory of the characters and the situational timing really made me invested. I thought it came across as genuine and made sense in terms of the plot. It carried a lot of action forward and created some intense, awkward and charged scenes.
The actual storyline was fantastic. All of the history of the town and the family and all of the secrets really kept me intrigued and eager to read on. Once you surpass that 100-page mark the pace really picked up and you get swept away. I really made a connection with these characters and I was highly invested in their missions. I kind of didn’t want the book to end, I just wanted to keep reading and find out what’s going to happen next!
⭐️4.5/5 stars Gripping, engaging, a wonderful read!