Well, this isn’t the first time I’ve been way, way, way behind the curve of popular YA books, is it? I’d say better late than never buuut while I kind of get the hype, I also felt a little underwhelmed by this series. I’ve decided the best ways to cover this is mini reviews. These won’t really be spoilery, but I will get into which ship sailed in the last review.
A Quick Peck From Kiss of Deception
It’s safe to say the first book didn’t totally capture me. And, despite my picture of the series, for me this missed the magic I crave in fantasy. It did pick up at around the 60% mark and it was well written. I especially liked the execution of the different povs- using “the assassin” and “the prince” to obscure identities and keep the reader in suspense, so it was a real surprise when each one was revealed. In terms of characters, the protagonist was especially strong- not just cos she’s the spunky run away before an arranged marriage type, but because she generally relies on her rather sharp wits. For the record, this has a love triangle, which I can see becoming a problem (also for the record: I preferred Rafe by the end of this book- we’ll have to see where that goes…)
Heart of Betrayal was a Little More Heartening
Yup- still on #TeamRafe. I rarely change my ships though, so that’s par for the course. My main gripe so far is that I don’t care for the love triangle at all #sorrynotsorry. I did prefer the setting in this book though- it leant more atmosphere and mystery to the story. There seemed to be more magic lurking and the Song of Venda leant more intrigue to the tale. But generally speaking, the world building is like window dressing- not much to it beyond the surface. And that’s okay with me- but there’s not much to the story either- it’s simply like so many I’ve read before. The one saving grace for this series, I really liked Lia as the main character as well- she’s got far more personality than most YA mcs combined. She has a lot more agency and is the driving force behind the action. A pleasant enough way to pass the time, but nothing mind-blowing.
Beauty of Darkness was Less-Than Pleasing
I baulked at the length of book 3. I just wasn’t loving the series enough for this much of a tome- and unfortunately I was right to be concerned. The action was decent- but it wasn’t enough to save the series- and I wasn’t that happy after all the build-up. Worst of all for me, the whispers of magic earlier in the series never really materialised. I think I was disappointed with that most of all. Thank goodness my ship sailed though or I might have sunk into a truly bad mood 😉 Sadly, I don’t think it was enough to keep the book or the series afloat for me.
Overall, I did come away understanding why this series garnered a strong following and had a real respect for the author– yet love triangles and the lack of magic left me less-than spellbound. I just wish they’d been as captivating as their titles and covers. Personally I could’ve done with a little more oomph from the setting as well- however I can see why this one would be a subjective read.
That doesn’t really leave me much to say other than- have you read this series? Did you enjoy it more than me? Let me know in the comments!