This was an absolute roller coaster from start to finish. (please note this is the second book in the series, so there may be some spoilers for the first one)
Jude is the seneschal to High King Carden, but almost half the time of their bargain has passed and she she has no way to renew it. While attempting to hold on to power, she must keep her father away from the throne, Cardan under control, and figure out who in her midst will betray her before it is too late.
Jude Duarte is my absolute favorite YA narrator of all time (except possibly Tris, but I haven’t read Divergent in a hot minute). I’ve never read from the perspective of someone quite as merciless as she is, especially within this genre. And it is still interesting to try and figure out if she truly wants power to protect her brother, or if she wants it for herself. She certainly seems to be becoming more and more vicious to hold onto it. In my onion, it is really a mixture of the two, but I wonder which one will win out in the end.
Cardan is also SUCH a pain and I love it. I like that they are slowly coming to tolerate each other, but at the same time I want to knock their heads together and tell them to stop being stupid and just work together. Then again, the fact that their relationship is actually developing is what makes it believable. So I guess I really can’t complain.
What this book had that the first one did not is a fast pace from start to finish. I genuinely didn’t want to put it down, and as always, the writing was very pretty. Although, nothing really different happened until about halfway through, when we get to the betrayal. Now THAT was interesting, but I had a few questions. Since Jude had been warned, why not just ask all the Fae close to her if they would move against her? They can’t lie, so it felt like an easy loophole she missed. Granted, that wouldn’t have worked on the humans around her, but something is better than nothing, right?
Other than that small point, I really have nothing negative to say about this. The cliffhanger at the end is delicious. I can’t wait to read queen of nothing, and I have high hopes that this will be a trilogy that doesn’t end in something unbelievable or weird happening.
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5
Intended audience: young adult
Content warnings: on page murder, blood