I have to say, I’m going to miss Jude and Cardan’s version of the Faerie realm.
Jude is in exile, but when Taryn shows up on her doorstep she finds herself traveling back to faerie despite its dangers. There she learns more of the coming war between Cardan and her Father, becoming further ensnared by her feelings for the High King of Faerie. In the end she must battle a deadly curse, her heart, and her loyalties to her family.
This review is probably going to be pretty short, as the characters remained consistent in how much I loved them from the previous two books (read my Cruel Prince review here and my Wicked King review here). The two main points I need to add are 1. Taryn’s development, and 2. Grima Mog’s introduction. I spent the first two books really hating Taryn, but she actually got interesting in this one! I can’t say much more than that as I like to keep my reviews spoiler-free, but trust me on this one. Next up is Grima Mog. I’m not sure why I loved her so much, but I think it may be because she reminds me of a more ruthless Jude. Like if Jude didn’t play by human morals at all, that’s how I could see her becoming. Loyal, but a little wicked as well. If there’s ever another book in the series, I could see Grima Mog becoming a kind of Mentor to Jude.
Because I really liked all of the character’s arcs, what I want to spend the most time talking about is the plot itself. I wasn’t quite as enamored with the beginning-middle of this as I wanted to be. Jude’s time spent in Madoc’s camp was pretty dull, however, once the setting changed things picked up again. Other than that, I only had one small issue. I didn’t really like how Cardan’s prophecy ended up being fulfilled. It felt too broad, and like it wasn’t really carried out in a way that made sense (again, I’m holding back for those of you who haven’t read yet, but if anyone wants to discuss more in depth in the comments who HAS read, let me know). Everything was still fast-paced, and it definitely kept me turning pages, but I kept feeling like all of the puzzle pieces didn’t quite fit together, or were a little random. I just wish there had been a little more clever foreshadowing or Faerie wordplay, like there was at other points in the books.
That being said, I have a bad reputation with trilogies for hating the last book. The Fifth Wave books’ ending made me want to tear my hair out, and I didn’t even bother with Allegiant of the Divergent series. I can definitely say that the curse of the trilogy was evaded here, although if I had to pick a favorite book from the three it would still be The Wicked King.
Overall I would definitely recommend this, and despite my complaining, I did really enjoy it. The highlight of the story remained Jude and Cardan’s relationships, and more generally the characters as a whole, so I didn’t mind that the plot lacked a little at the end.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4/5 stars
Intended Audience: Young Adult
Content warnings: Murder