Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.
First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.
Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.
But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.
But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s . . . well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.
Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…- Goodreads
If you haven’t read Kill the Queen or my review, you need to check it out now. Because there will be a slight spoiler in this review.
At the bottom line, this was a fantastic read from beginning to end. Evie kicks ass and makes sure that everyone knows about it. Although she internally feels like she may not be cut out for the job, she does what is best for the kingdom and for those that she loves.
Evie goes through a lot of emotional turmoil because at the same time she is trying to protect her kingdom and her loved ones, people are actively trying to kill her. What I loved is how the book is broken up into assassination attempts, so you know the attempts only gets progressively worst as the book goes on. And they are good; each more emotionally damaging and intense than the other.
So here is the spoiler, if you read the first book then you would know about Sullivan (Sully) and his complicated relationship with Evie. Here is what chocked me up about this relationship. Evie is all for it. But just like in the first book Sully turns her down and then proceeds to turn her down til about 70% of the book. But here is what sums up the turn about.
Sully: I don’t want you.
Eve: But we can be together. I want you.
Sully: No, we cannot.
Sully: Seriously stop looking at me like that because we can’t.
Eve: Makes an agreement for her country that may mean her marrying someone
That literally is what happens. And I laughed so hard because that was his reaction. It was hilarious. Beyond this, I actually really adored their relationship and was rooting for them all the way.
I loved this book but let’s say what it is. There was predictability. But it was one of those cases where I wasn’t sure if the author was going that route because it was left open to different things. Although she choose the obvious route, I didn’t have an exact problem with this. I didn’t because the writing was fantastic. I was still sitting on the edge of my bed reading this book.
Actually I stayed up until a littler before 2 a.m. to finish this read.
Overall, for a second book to a series, this was way better than expected. The intensity was there, the emotional investment was there, the character development was there and most importantly a powerful woman reminding everyone how truly powerful she is was there.
Too bad book three doesn’t come out until 2020 *sigh*