Miyoung and Jihoon are picking up the pieces of their broken lives following the deaths of Miyoung’s mother, Yena, and Jihoon’s grandmother. With the support of their friend Somin, and their frenemy, Junu, they might just have a shot at normalcy. But Miyoung is getting sicker and sicker by the day and her friends don’t know how to save her. With few options remaining, Junu has an idea but it might require the ultimate sacrifice and, let’s be honest, Junu isn’t known for his “generosity.”
The characters just didn’t seem to evolve and learn from everything that happened in the first book. It was just this never-ending cycle of each of them trying to protect each other and then getting mad that the other person was doing the protecting. They all read a lot younger than what they actually were and their conversations just didn’t seem believable or realistic to me. These are supposed to be 18-19 year old’s and yet they continue to act like angsty adolescents.
I didn’t like the fact that Somin and Junu fall in ‘love’ so quickly. Usually I don’t mind a hate to love trope but this felt so rushed and juvenile to me. Somin as a character was kind of annoying, she just took on way too much for her to handle and would put everyone else and their feelings above her own. I liked the fact that Junu called her out on this and just told her to chill out
Miyoung and Jihoon didn’t really change at all from the first book either. Even though so many traumatic things have happened to them they just seem to stay the same. I didn’t really understand why Miyoung was still holding on to her mother, from what I can remember from the first book I thought she treated her horribly and isolated her from anyone her age. I understand that it would still be traumatizing to loose the one person you depended on the most but that whole plotline didn’t really make sense to me until the end.
I still quite enjoy the lore and myths surrounding the Dokkaebi and learning all about Junu’s background and how he became one. Also learning about the Sansin and the Reapers were also really interesting to find out about. There just wasn’t enough action to keep me entertained throughout the book. The pacing was up and down and there were periods of time where all the characters were just sitting around waiting and it wasn’t very enjoyable.
⭐️2/5 stars the characters just didn’t do it for me
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
After a heart breaking loss, Lou, Reid, Beau, and Coco are bent on vengeance more than ever before—and none more so than Lou. But this is no longer the Lou they thought they knew. No longer the Lou that captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.
This is a little hard to review as I didn’t leave this book with any lasting impressions, which I think in and of itself is quite telling. This was the finale in the series and for the majority of the book I was quite bored. One thing I think that made the book drag a little was the reoccurring theme of Lou and Reid being forced apart by one thing or another. First it was Lou being inhabited by Nicholina and then Reid losing his memories almost straight after it never gave us a chance to just enjoy the two of them for a little while before something else happened to keep them apart and their relationship was one of the things that I liked most from this series.
Reid losing his memories and reverting back to his old chasseur mindset really got on my nerves. I understand it was a way to acknowledge just how much he and Lou are meant to be even if he knew she was a witch before they got married. But I just feel like it was unnecessary to revisit this when this was the main obstacle between them in the first book.
There was also too many side quests that they had to go on before the inevitable stand off with Morgane. They had to expel Nicholina then go back to the chateau to steal a necklace, we’ve already travelled all over this world in the second book I wasn’t really all that interested in the continuous journey they were on. I would of appreciated learning more about the different gods and digging more into the history of the witches.
⭐️2/5 stars Way to long and tedious
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.
The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins. Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world–one thought long depleted.
At first it was a little bit confusing trying to differentiate between all of the different characters, however as the plot continued and we got to learn more about each of them it did get easier. I love the fact that this was a multiple perspective book, I wasn’t expecting that and it definitely gave us a lot more context and history about Ilvernath and each family!
Alistair even though he has very villainous traits I kind of wanted him to be a bit more ruthless and less relatable. I understand his grief after losing his brother (that was a great twist) but I wanted that to kind of turn him murderous and up the stakes more. He is given kind of a redemption too soon and his relationship with Isobel humanised him more than what I thought he should.
Isobel wasn’t a favourite of mine. She resented the fact that she had to be a champion for over a year and isolated herself from her friends over something that was going to be publicised anyway. I thought she treated her mother terribly and let her father manipulate and coerce her into joining and then won’t jump at the chance to try and break the curse and believe Briony.
Briony I thought was a little delusional. The way she handled the whole situation with her sister was unnerving and I am dying to find out what Ines has to say to her. She was very much on board with the tournament right up until was wasn’t chosen and then it was all about saving her sister and brining everything down, the change just comes about a little to fast.
Overall the premise felt unique, the world building was quite contained just to Ilvernath but the history of the tournament gave the book a lot of depth and intrigue. I loved the fact that this book didn’t shy away from any gory details between the different family and the lengths they will go to control the high magick. There were some shocking and very juicy twists that just kept me wanting to read more!
⭐️4/5 stars I was here for the ruthlessness!