I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time and even had it in my TBR for a few times. I finally did it! Very happy I did too.
First of all, I give it a strong 3.7/5. The rating might seem a little low, but the book just didn’t grip me as much as I expected it to. It took me quite a while to finish and even then I had to keep forcing myself to read. Just wasn’t my usual reading – without being able to put the book down.
I saw the appeal for writing every chapter in a different perspective and while it expanded the world and explained the events, it just made it harder for me to get into the book and enjoy it. I kept wishing for more of a 5th wave kind of style, where even though the story is explained from all the sides, you are given more chapters from every point of view in a row and this helps you care for the characters more.
I really enjoyed the world and how it was build and expanded, as always I wished one of the main romantic relationships would have developed more over time and would have had more fluff as to the tragic instalove we got with Cleo and Theon. And even though I think they killed Theon too soon, I believe it was a very good time for Cleo’s necessary character development and this death just pushed her where she needed to go.
Now the things that I actually loved about the book. I really liked how the war escalated very similarly to the first World War (One murder was the reason to finally break out into the war that was brewing for a long time.) and the magical element is very nice too. I liked the way that the main characters don’t just believe in magic without any proof and I enjoyed the legends immensely. Probably the most heartbreaking moment for me was when Cleo was too late to save Emilia, yet again very important for the plot to develop, but it broke my heart, because I too have an older sister and it just seemed terrible how those seeds where there already and Cleo was so close to saving her sister. I include this in the things I liked list, because it made me feel terrible for the princess and if a books gives me strong feelings (tears or happiness) I view it as a good thing, because it takes great writing to make me feel so, It’s why I read books to begin with. This made me root for Cleo to succeed in getting her Kingdom back.
The King of blood makes an amazing villain for the book and as you get to know him there is literally not a single thing you like about him. I would also like to note how Aron is just a guy you really hate and this makes you relate to Cleo a lot more, even though she comes of as a little shallow in the beginning. She grows so much through this book as does Jonas. I loved seeing the change in Jonas at the end of the book. He finally started thinking more with his brain than his heart and I even found myself hopefully shipping Cleo and Jonas in the future. Magnus’s development makes me very sad, because in the beginning you are with him and he seems like could turn into a hero and his heart is kind, but later he just turns more and more into his father and gets this thirst for blood, but at least those few acts of kindness still gave me hope. While I was mad for this character change in him, I thought it’s very realistic that he would turn out this way with all the horrible things that keep happening in his life. The person I seemed to care for the least so far was Lucia and I just couldn’t relate to her in any way.
All in all I really liked the characters and their development and if the book had been more gripping it would have probably received a higher rating from me. Nonetheless I will, for sure, read the other books in the series, because by the end I was really living in the story.
Then his heart, now broken into a thousand pieces, slowly began to turn to ice.