Eighteen-year-old Ziva may have defeated a deadly warlord, but the price was almost too much. Ziva is forced into a breakneck race to a nearby city with the handsome mercenary, Kellyn, and the young scholar, Petrik, to find a powerful magical healer who can save her sister’s life. When the events that follow lead to Ziva and Kellyn’s capture by an ambitious prince, Ziva is forced into the very situation she’s been dreading: magicking dangerous weapons meant for world domination.
Ziva’s perspective in this book was just so exhausting to read from. I understand how debilitating her social anxiety is but the way she just continuously hyper focuses and second guesses every decision she and everyone around her makes gets repetitive and boring. There was a little bit of growth in the fact that she came to eventually stop putting herself down and minimising all her achievements and actually feel proud of herself which was nice.
When it came to her relationship with Kellyn is was frankly just frustrating to read. Again, I can understand she has this disorder but he tells and shows her multiple times that he wants her and she is his forever but still she doesn’t believe him and pushes him away. The fact that she was just going to give up on him after the war ends and just walk away without even talking to him first and being surprised he was willing to compromise got on my nerves.
Other than that I was pretty invested in the storyline. It was still a bit repetitive with all of the travelling that we get but there was always a new setting that we got to explore in this world. I liked the fact that we get to learn more about the other magic users and Ziva got more of an understanding about her abilities through them. The fighting scenes were very entertaining and the couple of twists were quite surprising.
⭐️2/5 stars Just a bit disappointed
Feared and despised for the sinister power in her veins, Alyce wreaks her revenge on the kingdom that made her an outcast. Once a realm of decadence and beauty, Briar is now wholly Alyce’s wicked domain. And no one will escape the consequences of her wrath. Not even the one person who holds her heart. Princess Aurora saw through Alyce’s thorny façade, earning a love that promised the dawn of a new age. But it is a love that came with a heavy price: Aurora now sleeps under a curse that even Alyce’s vast power cannot seem to break. And the dream of the world they would have built together is nothing but ash. Alyce vows to do anything to wake the woman she loves, even if it means turning into the monster Briar believes her to be. But could Aurora love the villain Alyce has become?
Alyce kinda got on my nerves throughout this sequel. She just placed Aurora on this pedestal the last 100 years that she’s been asleep and when she was awoken just disregarded everyone else who had build up the Dark Court, especially Regan. Like it was pointed out to her numerous times that she had only known Aurora for a year and even though she may have been her true love can that really conquer all? Aurora was horrified when she woke up and then chose to isolate and disrespect everyone and lash out repeatedly and conspire against her.
I wasn’t very connected with Aurora in the first book and in this continuation of the storyline she didn’t do anything special for me. I can appreciate the fact that she would mourn for her previous life but the pretentiousness and entitlement is still there. She still doesn’t recognize how much Malyce was reviled and why she chose to raze Briar to the ground.
I just loved the setting of the Dark Court and seeing how it had changed so much and integrated all of these other creatures that were otherwise shunned and mistreated by the humans and the fae. I also liked the fact that even though Alyce was the most powerful of the Vila’s wasn’t appointed queen, there was a counsel of representatives that made unanimous decisions.
Like the first book however the pacing was just off. The first half of the book dragged and there wasn’t really any kind of build up of anticipation. Sure there were a couple of twists and turns that kept me engaged but all of the action scenes just felt really rushed and confusing to envision. The ending was quite satisfying in my opinion. I liked the fact that Malyce chose to leave and honor Regan and work harder to learn more about her kind.
⭐️3/5 stars some parts I loved, other parts I hated.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Dynamic Duos and I thought I would go with duologies! I did a post not long ago about my favourite duologies but since then I have completed a few more so why not add to that list!
Daughter of the Pirate King duology by Tricia Levenseller
The Ravens duology by Kass Morgan & Danielle Page
These Violent Delights duology by Chloe Gong
These Witches Don’t Burn duology by Isabel Sterling
All the Stars and Teeth duology by Adalyn Grace
*THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD*
The sorority girls at Kappa Rho Nu—the Ravens—are determined to restore balance to the world. After destroying an ancient talisman and barely saving their sorority in the process, they’ll go to any lengths to keep their secret as Westerly’s most powerful coven of witches. Unbeknownst to the Ravens, new rivals and ancient evils lurk on Westerly’s campus. With Kappa Rho Nu’s future on their shoulders and their pasts still haunting them, will Scarlett and Vivi be able to save their sisterhood once again?
Scarlett just came across and very insecure throughout the course of this book. Always second guessing all of her decisions and not really standing up for herself as the president of the sorority. It makes sense now having finished the book why the other sisters kept making remarks about Scarlett’s presidency but the fact that she would just take it and not call them out on being rude and toxic didn’t make sense to me.
Vivi also didn’t really grow in any kind of way throughout the course of this book. She realises at the end how some of her actions and decisions weren’t the best but I feel like if she went back she would absolutely do the same thing. I think she really disregarded the feelings of her sisters when they tried to have the intervention with her despite saying over and over how much of a raven she is, immediately becoming super defensive and dismissive and ran straight over to the Theta’s and joined them. I also don’t understand why she didn’t just explain to Mason about Tim and why she was meeting up with him. She totally just did what Scarlett did to him and I thought it wasn’t nice of her to just blow him off time and time again and then be surprised when he breaks up with her.
I didn’t enjoy the fact that we get this new storyline with the Hadesgate but we don’t get a history of who contained it last time, or who the witch was in the old house that Vivi had the vision about. Also we find out in this book that there are guardians/witch hunters that Scarlett was warned about her whole life which is one of the reasons why they are so serious about containing the secret about their magic. But again were just given kind of the bare minimum that is told to us by Xavier but we don’t get any kind of in depth explanation about who they are and how they were established.
The whole plot was just everything turning against the Kappas all at once and them just being like oh is someone sabotaging us??? It was blatantly obvious that there was someone out to get them but there just wasn’t that sense of urgency until they lost their magic. I feel like the girls are all so cavalier about their magic and will just do a spell whenever something inconvenienced them and it was definitely interesting to see them having to try and navigate their lives without it. There was just nothing that was super surprising or gripping about this book, I was interested enough to see how it would end but this didn’t leave a lasting impression on me at all!
⭐️2/5 stars Underwhelming and forgettable!
*DEFINITE SPOILERS BELOW*
After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on the warpath. One wrong move, and her cousin will step in to usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.
I found Juliet in this book to be frustrating. I could tell straight away that something was happening behind the scenes with her father as he sent her to ‘work’ with Roma. But because she was so wrapped up in finding out who the blackmailer was and dealing with Roma directly again she was oblivious to what was happening around her until it was too late and she had to scramble. For someone who is supposed to be the heir to the Scarlett gang she is rarely ever with her father or privy to any of his meetings and plans I felt.
Roma was not all that impressive either to be honest. The first half of the book before he found out that Marshall was still alive was just him having conflicting feelings towards Juliet and not really getting anything done. Honestly he didn’t really add anything significantly to the book other than just being a Montagov. I didn’t really come away from the book having that much of a connection to him.
One thing I loved was the evolution of Benedikt and Marshall. Ben finding out that he was still alive and then their reunion where you could feel the tension stirring between them to the eventual declaration of their love! I found it to be incredibly heart warming and lovely to read. I also was very much surprised with Rosalind and Kathleen and how integral their roles were in the plot.
I think what really bogged down this story for me was all of the political talk about the revolution and the different factions within the city that came to a head in the end. I couldn’t find myself being that invested even though it took up so much of the storyline. I know what they were talking about was significant but it derailed the whole story so completely that I feel like the original premise was lost.
⭐️2/5 stars Fell flat for me!