Rating: 5/5 stars.
Whoa people. Just whoa. How could a book end like that? I must have the next one like now! This had so many plot twists. It was so intense. I loved it.
Kestrel is planning to marry the emperor’s only son. Most people would be excited and joyful about the planned marriage because soon they’d be inheriting the empire. But Kestrel knows that as soon as she marries, she’ll be trapped in a cage. She wants to Arin why she really married the emperor’s son: to save him. But she knows the decisions he’ll make if she does. So she does her best to convince him of the lies. Arin knows that Herran, now a separate territory but under the rule of the emperor, is free, but it won’t last long and he must find a more permanent way to keep the Herrani free. What he doesn’t know is that Kestrel has begun to work as a spy for Herran and is about to discover a deadly secret. If she is found out, everything is undone.
Kestrel. Oh my goodness I loved her. I understood her struggles. She made some of the hardest decisions anyone ever has to make. She kept up the lies and deception for a purpose. She was such a strategist. She was smart. She thought through her decisions. She was strong, but not in a physical way. Arin, I feel bad for him. He’s so clueless. Kestrel tells her lies too well. And he believes her. But for some reason, he still loves her. He still trusts her in a way that defines all understanding. The emperor was sly and terribly evil. He was smarter than he looked. He was definitely more than meets the eye.
This was intense. Very intense. Kestrel doing traitorous things that could get herself killed literally right in front the of enemies’ faces, scary me. How can it not be intense, when one wrong move could mean the end of all your favorite characters’ lives? It was like the quiet before the storm. Your just waiting for it to break out. The secrets were horrifying. It was shocking how cruel the empire was, how far they were willing to go to expand the empire. Then the ending. It was heart wrenching!
There wasn’t a ton of violence, but where there was violence, it was very descriptive. It was a bit disgusting, if you really thought about it. So for those who can’t stand violence, I wouldn’t recommend this.
The writing was beautiful. I loved all the metaphors and similes. It was beautiful. It was emotional. It was made my heart beat fast. It thrilled me. I really loved it, if you can’t tell.
There was maybe a handful of bad words. Not a lot at all. There looked to be the start of a sexual scene, but it was skipped over. There was one intense kissing moment, but it didn’t go any farther.
Alright. So I just loved this book and I recommend this to older teens and up. It was really amazing. I love this fantasy world.