Harper has freed Prince Rhen from the curse that almost destroyed his kingdom. Bit all is not well in Emberfall: rumours are rife that there is a rival heir with a stronger claim to the throne and that ‘Princess’ Harper of Disi is nothing but a fraud.
Grey has fled the castle carrying a terrible secret. When he is discovered by soldiers and returned to Ironrose by force, Grey’s allegiances begin to shift. And as he grows closer to an enemy princess, he is forced to decide whether he will stand against Rhen for the crown he never wanted.
‣ POV: 1st person, Harper (one measly chapter), Grey, Lia Mara
‣ Summary in Emojis: 🗡️☠️👑🖤
‣ Trigger and Content Warnings: graphic violence, self harm, suicide, murder, torture, PTSD
Honestly I really wish the first book had just been a standalone. This was such a disappointment for me. It wasn’t the sequel I needed, and definitely not the one I wanted. There is so much here that I just didn’t enjoy and I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing with the series now or not.
The way this book works is by basically massacring the characters from the first book. It takes away their character development, takes away what essentially made me fall in love with them in the first place. Rhen, whilst I wasn’t the biggest fan of him in book one, spent ACSDAL trying to repent for his past, to become a better man. And he achieves that in the end, with the help of Harper and Grey. In this book? He is cruel, he is evil and I don’t see how he’s going to be redeemed. Again.
And Harper? Our amazing Princess Disi who showed that her limitations couldn’t stop her from doing anything she wanted? She turned into this weak character who stayed beside Rhen whilst he was doing all this horrible stuff. In the first book she would have slapped him round the face. Or run away. I didn’t understand why she stood beside him at all.
Grey, who was stoic and calm, with just a hint of teasing in the first book, becomes morose and just downright boring. I also didn’t like the introduction of the new character Lia Mara. It felt like Harper and Rhen were both sacrificed so that Grey and Lia Mara would shine and become heroes of the story. It makes me curious to know how Kemmerer is going to work all four povs into the next book but I’m not sure if I want to even chance reading it.
I did still love the writing and the book itself didn’t take me long to read, it’s as fast paced as the first in that way. We see more of the world in this one and it was interesting to meet some of the creatures that inhabit Emberfall and Syl Shallow. I did enjoy the side characters, and we learn more about Harper’s brother and his love interest. It was also nice to see from the other side of the war, you don’t always get that in fantasy and I liked that change in direction. I just wish one side didn’t have to become ‘evil’ to show off how good the other side could be.
So all in all, I can’t recommend this one. The first one was brilliant and I believe you can read it very easily as a standalone. I might try the third one out, just to see how everything plays out, but I won’t be rushing out to get it.
Here’s to a wonderful New Year!