Truth is being buried under deception, faith drowned by fear.
Every time I read another book in the series I say, “no, this one is definitely my favorite” only to read the next and say the same exact thing. De Castell has done it again and served up a fantastic book that is even better than the last one.
What’s happened to the world when you can’t even count on rapacious murderers anymore?
In this book, the challenge to put Aline on the throne is still there, but the enemies are even more dangerous, if you could imagine that. Saints are being killed and no one knows exactly how or who is doing this, only that they not only pose a danger to Aline on the throne, but the future of Tristia as we know it. I cannot say much more than that, because you really have to read the incredible plot yourself, but that is the jist of it.
You are all so wounded, Falcio, inside and out, and its making you all so hard you’ve become as brittle as glass. Can’t you see that? You all fight so hard to protect this country, but there’s no one to protect you.
In the first book we got an introduction, the first date, to the world and the characters. The second book was our second, and third, maybe even fourth dates, as we began to get to really know them, their background, and their secrets. But this third book is an epiphany, the moment where it clicks: how special this person is to us and why we love them. At least that is how it felt to me.
Who’s going to stand when everyone else kneels? Who’s going to argue for the law even when there’s no justice to be had? Who’s going to try even when the trying is too damned hard?
There were many moments where I would almost break down weeping because I could empathize with how weary and tired of fighting Falcio was. I mean, I have never had to duel someone, breaking a few bones, then gone on to save a life. But I know the never ending struggle against the odds to fight for justice and equality: whether it be for worker’s rights or equal rights. This struggle knowing the exhaustion and pain, but knowing if it isn’t you, who will stand up? We each matter and our fight for justice is no less important. We may be beaten, broken, and doubting ourselves and our fight, but we need to fight. To take a stand, when it may seem impossible, to battle the oppression and band together. I need Falcio in my life, to find my inner Falcio. For like many characters in this series, Falcio inspires us to reach a little taller, to stand up for the underdogs, to be more valiant.
Even mercy must be paid for with violence.
I could go on and on about the ingenious plot, the way it twists and moves, more an alive being than words on a page. Or I could gush for hours on end about each of its characters, the way enemies form temporary allies, and the way we feel sparks of empathy even in the most unlikely places. Do not even begin talking about how many times this book moved me, the struggle of the characters wetting my face or turning my gut. How many times I thought, me too, felt the weariness in my bones, and finding the courage to make my stand, to live my truth. This book was my favorite because while I loved Falcio in the other books, in this one I could understand him, it was him at his most human.
‘Words…foolish words and foolish deeds – is this all that’s left to protect this shithole of a world?’
‘Why not?…It’s the only thing that’s ever worked before’
I do not think I can praise this series enough, but let me try just one more time (before the last book of course). This book is worth your time, your investment, and your heart. It will make you laugh with its humor, it will astonish you with its plot twists and mysteries, and it will move you with its tireless quest for justice and the vulnerability of its characters. But then again, if you have read the first book I do not have to convince you to read this, you’ll fall head over heels the same way I did. Go buy the book (or pre-order the paperback) here, visit de Castell’s site, or add the book to Goodreads (why don’t you do all of them at once anyway).
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. And good thing I did, otherwise I would have gone mad waiting for it. Which reminds me, since I am reading an advanced read copy, the quotes are subject to change, but I had to put my favorites in here (which was so hard because there were SO many of my favorite lines). De Castell has a way with words. He will make me laugh, make me cry, and touch the depths of my heart so profoundly all in the same moment.
Let’s Discuss: If you had to be given a title, like King’s Heart, what would yours be?
By the way I have no answer to that question because a) it is such a difficult question and b) I am the one asking questions here 😉
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