I’m so much in love with this series and the characters, so this is probably going to be less of a review and more of a random rambling about my favorite parts in this book. I apologize in advance for sounding quite incoherent.
I don’t talk about it much, but I love action sequences. I love reading about or watching elaborate fight scenes and this book had exactly one of those. We’ve always known Damon is a great warrior and he killed Auguste but watching him decimate his enemy ruthlessly, despite his disappointment about Laurent abandoning him, is a sight to behold. He is a whole class apart and this book shows how natural it is for him to transition into his role as King. We also learn early on that he is going to be a great one.
Instead of dealing with his conflicting feelings about the man who killed his brother, Laurent decides to go back to his facade and cut down Damon with his humiliating words. But Damon understands Laurent so much and he can see past the hurtful words and understand the feelings of a boy who lost his beloved brother. We’ve always known Laurent’s strength is his mind but in this book, he also shows he is capable of physical strength when needed. And the scene where he tries so hard to fight with Damon is very very intense, but it feels more like an argument between lovers who don’t know how to express their anguish except through a sword fight.
But when it’s time to put their differences aside and unite their forces to fight the Regent and Kastor, we see how much they really trust and love each other. Their understanding of each other is at a level where they don’t even need to communicate and just know exactly what the other person needs. It’s beautiful to see two people so much in love. As days go by, they grow comfortable around each other and it’s wonderful to see them on equal footing and also letting other people see their relationship.
Nikandros is my new favorite character in this series. He is so loyal and loves Damen a lot, not just because he is his King but because he is his closest friend. He is very skeptical of Laurent and tries to dissuade Damen from being in a relationship, but ultimately supports him in whatever he chooses to do and always has his back. It speaks more to Laurent’s strength because he never had that kind of support in his life after Auguste. And it’s heartening to see Damen become that support system for Laurent.
I hate the Regent even more than I thought I could. We all knew he was manipulative and cunning, but the lengths to which he could go to discredit Laurent and becoming King himself was just disgusting. I was actually expecting the revelation of Laurent being abused by his uncle since book 2, but watching it unfold and Damen’s visceral reaction to it quite mirrored mine.
The way the ending played out and the truth was revealed seemed fitting because Laurent was never going to defeat the Regent in all out war and it had to be in front of the court. But I still didn’t see the revelation coming. Never thought the Regent could be cruel in his greed for power. I’m glad the council saw the truth but I still think the Regent got a very easy death. Damon deserved to serve the death blow and I think that’s my only gripe. The whole story comes full circle when Laurent kills Kastor to protect Damen. There is no epilogue and I was very disappointed because I just wanted to read more about how the kingdoms would go on from there and how Damen and Laurent would proceed with their relationship. But I know they will be together.
Next task – read the short stories… because I need more of these beautiful characters in my life.