Read: March 2023
Another good one! I found this very well written, and the cliff-hangers at the end of every chapter had me up way too late reading.
For the most part I did like Yelena. She is a very a strong, independent main character with a tough past who doesn’t go on about it. She has a lot of agency and drives most of the plot herself. She might have been a bit too amazing… for some reason, other characters seemed to, by and large, instantly love her.
I also liked Valek too but could have done with learning more about him! Most of the other characters were well-developed and felt like people.
It is a tropey genre story but the plot didn’t feel tired or too predictable. I have seen many comparisons but please know that this is *significantly* better than Sarah J. Maas’s Throne Of Glass which I hated! (I will never understand the love for those books!). It gets compared because of the assassin elements (Yelena more effective in everything she does than whatsherface!). So if you also hated those books, don’t let comparisons but you off – you might like this one! It was also published in 2005, well before so the influence between the two, if any, is the other way around.
The romance elements didn’t work for me and felt like an afterthought that just got tossed in at the end and therefore felt very unsatisfying and anticlimactic. A waste of two really great characters. The scene where they (maybe) do get it on was very cringe.
Also please know that there is reference to SA in this, it was clear from very early what we were building to, and I just really don’t like reading about it. You’ll be able to predict when it’s coming and just skip that chapter.
Overall I liked this, and I’m tempted to read more in the series but the more balanced reviews on Goodreads for the next two books makes me think I am best to stay away and treat it as a standalone! I hate series that start strong and don’t know how to continue.
Has anyone else read this one? Recommendations for anything similar? (See above RE: no Sarah J Maas!!)