Lei and Wren have escaped from the confines of the Hidden Palace after the Winter Ball and are now sequestered in the mountains waiting or Wren’s father to arrive and explain their next step in the plans to overthrow the King.
I liked the direction the plot is going, we’re introduced to a plethora of new characters and this found family dynamic they have going on was endearing. Bo and Nitta brought some much-needed spark to the storyline. I loved Bo’s constant chatter and comic relief that contrasts starkly with the overall tone of the storyline. Nitta didn’t really hold any interest for me, other than being Bo’s sister we aren’t really given much insight into her character and what role she plays. I’m hoping in the next book we are given the opportunity to learn more about her and Bo and why they were exiled from their clan.
Merrin was a little annoying for me at the start. His sassiness came across a little arrogant at first, but his development over the course of the plot was wonderful. His banter with the leopard siblings was entertaining and when he finally accepts his feeling for Bo we really see a different side to him. Even though he made a few decisions that didn’t seem wise you can definitely relate to why he did what he did. I loved that he called out Wren and her father and made Lei see what they were actually doing. She even said that what he was saying was correct and she couldn’t dispute it. I hope he is given some level of redemption in the next book.
Lei kind of got my nerves throughout the book as well. I think her love for Wren really blinded her from what was actually going on. She knew that they were keeping secrets from her and despite being Moonchosen she doesn’t demand answers until the very end when it feels like it may be too late. I wanted her to be more of a commanding figure and stand up for herself a bit more! Her need to throw herself into unnecessary danger also irked me, I get she is trying to overthrow the oppressive hold the king has on everyone but she needs to pick her battles a little better.
Though Wren’s character is constantly surprising me and is turning somewhat morally gray I’m sort of starting to feel a bit ambivalent towards her. I can’t condone her actions and I feel like her ultimate goal has taken over her sense of right and wrong.
I enjoyed the fact we are still given some perspectives from those still in the Hidden Palace. Finding out that Lill is still alive and Mistriss Azumi is the contact inside. I’m interested to see how Aoki is going to react to her families demise and how the King is going to influence her over her friendship with Lei. I have a feeling that is going to be crucial in the next book.
⭐️3/5 Epic journey, dark magic, heart-breaking betrayals!