By: Mary E. Pearson
Published: July 7, 2015 by Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Personal Kindle Library
(Goodreads / Amazon)
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape . . . and even less of being together.MY REVIEW:
Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komisar that she has a magical gift, and the Komisar's interest in Lia is greater than either Kaden or Lia foresaw.
Meanwhile, the foundations of Lia's deeply-held beliefs are crumbling beneath her. Nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to her, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom she always believed to be barbarians but whom she now realizes are people who have been terribly brutalized by the kingdoms of Dalbreck and Morrighan. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her very sense of self, Lia will have to make powerful choices that affect her country, her people . . . and her own destiny.
I enjoyed the second half better than the first, as I felt it had a bit of a slow beginning. And though the direction of the characters is one that I'm not super happy with, as let's say, my favorite team is not winning, I still am enjoying this journey of Lia, Rafe and Kaden and there's clearly still more of the story to be told.
This part of the story picks up just about where book one left us. Told from alternating POV's between Rafe, Lia, Kaden, and a few chapters told from the POV of Pauline, Rafe and Lia have entered Venda as prisoners of Kaden, on a very short leash. Rafe is posing as an emissary to the Prince of Dalbreck and Lia is being pranced around the country as someone with an incredible gift that has long been foretold. The Komizar uses her to his benefit, not believing in any supernatural gift. In the process of all of this, Lia becomes very fond of many of those living in Venda and begins to see a different part of who they are, more than just the barbarians she has seen murder and brutalize others and the horrible rumors of just exactly who these people are. Yes, there are bad seeds among them, but there's also good people trying just to live and get by. There's also many secrets.
With many twists and turns weaved into the story that were unexpected to me, the book kept me guessing of what was to come next. There is much deceit among each and every character - the question becomes just who all is betraying who?
This is one fantasy story that I'm a big fan of. I would LOVE to see this turned into a movie!! The countries, the people, the clothes, the armies, the castles, the barbarians, all of it would be beautiful translated on screen.
"A charitable act is no reason to sell your soul to someone."
Deceit knew no boundaries.
What is magic but what we don't yet understand?
"Every mile, every day. I'd do it all again. I'd chase you across three continents if that's what it took to be with you."
I wished that love could be simple, that it was always given and returned in the same measure, equally and at the same time, that all the planets aligned in a perfect way to dispel all doubts, that it was easy to understand and never painful.
Language Rating: 1 (light)
Mature Content Rating: 0 (none)
Final Rating: 4 stars