This was never a land for heroes (223)
The first part of this series was captivating, but the second is even better! First off, Sebastien de Castell is a master at beginnings. This book was even better than the first because I knew the characters already. It was not about winning me over, but about getting to know them, and that made it even sweeter. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s tell you what it’s about.
Stop using the dead to justify the living (565)
Falcio has finally fulfilled his quest, but it is far from over. He is now tasked, along with his two best friends with protecting Aline’s life (something he has vast experience with) and putting her on the throne. There is only the small problem of an even more evil villain, the blood thirsty dukes, and Falcio’s inability to get out of bed in the morning, literally. Who said changing the world was easy, am I right?
You promised me mayhem and fighting (241)
With the sequel the stakes are higher and Sebastien de Castell knows it. The pressure and demand increase with each book, yet this one delivers in a splendid way. In fact I read this book even faster than the first one and this is basically double the page count, a whopping 600. The political intrigue is upgraded as we learn more about the Duke’s legal system and more and more scheming happens. Nothing and no one is safe.
Brasti never did understand how powerful a story could be (120)
I want to issue a trigger warning for rape. I just want to throw that out there now. You can tell it is coming and skip those pages though. (As rape survivor, I just thought I would mention it.) My only complaint, be it minuscule, from the book is that sometimes I wish to hear someone else’s perspective, besides Falcio. This complaint is not because I do not enjoy his perspective, or the story, but because de Castell is so good at writing characters, that I want to know their thoughts backwards and forwards. They are so intriguing that I sometimes need more. However, I predict this trend will be continued in the next novels and I can totally live with it. It is just a testament to my love for the other characters. (But perhaps a series of their lives is in the works? I do hope so.)
I think we get to be what the world needs us to be (54)
This book takes up the same loveable and funny characters, and adds even more complex ones. The main characters may hook you at the beginning, but the side characters are the ones who keep you. A story can get boring fast with the same quirks of the main characters and their humor can often run dry. Not so with this book. My favorite was Darriana, because I am a sucker for a female with a blade. These characters, even for the short period we know some of them, are intricate. Even if we know them for a moment, these brief encounters are always interesting. Each detail has significance and they reflect the true care and art of the author.
‘They’re hoping that the old stories are true.’
‘Which ones are they?’
‘The ones where e save everybody.’ (567)
Ultimately you will enjoy this book if you read the first and enjoy political plots. You will also like this book if you enjoy adventure, a ragtag band of underdogs, and characters who may have lost their way, but are always looking for justice. I am so happy I have an advance read copy of the third book so I can immediately dive in. So go pick yourself up a copy, add this to your goodreads, and visit the author’s site.
So let’s discuss: are you more of an arrow or sword person? Or are you one of those who wield words like weapons?
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If you liked this, you might like the review of The Portal of a Thousand Worlds