My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was legitimately at a loss for words when I finished this book. It continues the story from the first one very well. I loved the direction things went. The author does a really good job of forcing us to confront the duality of right and wrong and where that line is. I loved not understanding my own feelings about the events that were happening and that had been happening for the past 100 years in the story. I could not predict any of the events or where the story was going at any point. This led to a very interesting ending that was emotional but very appropriate for the characters.
All My Thoughts
May contain spoilers.
I absolutely loved this book! From the very beginning, I was taken by surprise and that continued all the way to the end. I did not expect the book to take place 100 years after the events of the first, nor that Alyce really would fill this traditional role of Villian so perfectly. What I liked most was that despite the fact that she did in fact take over the kingdom and had no regard for the citizens, she was still doing what she felt was right. When looked at from her perspective that fact is very obvious and it really starts to blur the line of what we think is actually right or wrong. You really feel for her people and her reasons for doing what she did.
I loved Alyce’s character. She was both naive and dedicated at the same time. She loved her people and every creature that was being treated like monsters, but she did lose a bit of her humanity in the process. Seeing her interactions with Aurora after she finally woke up was just heartbreaking. The tension between them, and honestly the tension that was present with every character, was so well written and kept me on edge the entire time. I was not expecting so many difficult interactions and secrets. I loved every character though, both major and minor ones.
The ending was also a bit heartbreaking but truly felt like it was the best possible ending. I didn’t want Alyce and Aurora to decide not to be together right away, but it felt like an important decision. Both of them needed time to figure themselves out before they could fully commit to the relationship they both deserved. I really felt like this was a great example of acknowledging that a relationship is not mature and possibly toxic. I was not expecting another 100 years to go by before things took a turn, but I really liked seeing where Alyce was in her life at that point. It was good to see that the story will have a happy ending when it is meant to, that it is not just about audience gratification.
The author went in directions that made the most sense for them and their stations throughout the entire book and while it made me an emotional wreck, it was extremely satisfying.
This was a perfect sequel to an already wonderful story that escalated things to a level that takes readers outside of their expectations in a very satisfying way.
Book provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.