War offers little respite for the bold, and as King Erik’s bodyguard, Captain Alix Black is no exception. Though recently married to Prince Liam White and finally reunited with her brother, Commander General Riggard Black, Alix’s duty to Erik has never been so important… or so difficult.
The Oridian Warlord amasses his forces for invasion. Without aid, the Kingdom of Alden will surely fall, but gaining new allies will mean risking the few Erik already has. Riggard and his men must hold the line at the border, while Liam is sent to Onnan City to secure their fleet of ships, leaving Alix and Erik to the most dangerous task of all: crossing the Broken Mountains to seek an alliance with the Kingdom of Harram, an aloof nation led by a famously prickly king.
The mountain pass cuts through enemy territory, is notoriously tough to navigate, and is plagued with warring tribes. But securing Harram’s army would turn the tide of the war, so Alix will do whatever it takes to protect Erik and his diplomatic mission. But even she may be no match for the insidious assault Erik’s enemies are preparing to deploy…
While I enjoyed parts of this book, I did struggle with it more than Bloodbound, and it took me significantly longer to read.
Liam’s whiny ‘why me’ attitude through the first half of the book wore on me, but by the end, he was by far my favourite. He grew into himself, his responsibilities, and his role. What’s more impressive is that Erin Lindsey allowed him to have all of this development without losing his unique, innate voice. At the end of the book, he is the same Liam as always, just more.
I understand that Alix and Erik were supposed to be strained and have a problematic relationship throughout this story for very significant reasons; however, this did not make it any easier to read. I think this is a testament to the author’s skill: their relationship should be complicated, and it should be hard to read. If I was rating based solely on the author’s skill: five stars all day. I have nothing but good things to say about Linsey and her ability to interweave character growth and plot development – subtle and surprising through and through.
I still love and appreciate Alix as a heroine because of her ability to remain a strong female role model while still having flaws. She is refreshing and unique as always.
While I enjoyed getting to see more of Rig in this book, I find him a bit more two dimensional than the others. His choices are more obvious, his plot more predictable. From time to time, his dialogue with Vel or Morris or Wright seemed monotonous and repetitive. To be fair, he is in a monotonous, repetitive position. I like Rig, and I just wish he was as real to me as the others in this story. I feel bad that he seems to be the only one really left fighting the war.
Overall this second book in the trilogy was less predictable than the first, for the most part, but a more challenging read for me.
Erik’s descent into madness/paranoia is so subtle that it’s almost completed before you realise that it’s unnatural.
I’m looking forward to my reread of Bloodsworn as this has been a nostalgic adventure for me. And, to be honest, I can’t remember what happens next! Fingers crossed, I’ve forgotten because it’s been a few years (and a few hundred books) since my first read, and not because it’s a disappointing finale!