This is such an engrossing sequel to Court of Bitter Thorn. It picks up where the first book left off and follows Elora as she tries to help Brannick win the crown and break the curse that binds him. I love ELora! Richly layered and dynamic, Elora is a series of contradictions. She is brave yet vulnerable, confident and unsure, grief-stricken yet hopeful. I love how richly developed her character is and that she shows such a wide variety of emotions.
Elora, who has longed for adventure, finally begins to understand the nature of her wanderlust, which is fascinating. This was a surprising and unanticipated revelation that connects Elora to other characters in the Faerie world. These experiences and connections are new and unexpected, and her myriad of emotions reflects her struggle as she learns to navigate the complex world of the Faerie.
On top of dealing with that, Elora desperately misses and wants to protect her sisters. She also mourns the loss of her beloved parents. The grief is overwhelming at times, and Elora struggles to manage her feelings while also traversing the Faerie world.
Brannick also continues to intrigue me. He is aloof and mysterious, a man with a solitary disposition that struggles to trust. Who can blame him? Bound to a manipulative and cruel, power-hungry woman, Brannick has no control over his life. This book really highlights just how much power the Queen has over Brannick, and it’s heart-breaking. It definitely explains his attitude and outlook on life more, as well as his grim determination to gain the throne. I love his dark and brooding persona and am hopeful that we’ll see more glimpses of Brannick with his guard down in future books.
I’m interested in learning more about some of the other elusive and mysterious characters as well and am hopeful that we’ll find out more about them too. Sprites, mermaids, dryads, and other fairies all have fascinating stories, and the sub-plots involving these characters are as intriguing as the main plot. What I like is that you never know who is truly good and who has untrustworthy motives. There are so many shades of grey in this world, and I can’t wait to learn who really has Brannick and Elora’s best interests at heart.
The romance definitely picks up in this story, especially in comparison to the first book. Elora and Brannick resist their feelings for a variety of reasons, but it proves impossible. Because of the curse, Elora and Brannick cannot touch, and this lack of physical connection builds the romantic tension immensely. I enjoyed their forbidden love story and am hoping that they can find a way to be together, even though the curse on Brannick prohibits it.
Another aspect of Moody’s stories that I always enjoy is the abundance of unexpected twists and turns. Though the story contains many traditional literary tropes like forbidden romance, completing three challenging tasks, and found families, there are many new and intriguing elements to keep you guessing. Political intrigue, nefarious characters, and dangerous plots make for a fun and suspenseful read. Plus, that shocking cliffhanger ending left me stunned!!!
I should probably take a day to compose myself before leaving this review because this book utterly shattered me in the best way possible.
Elora and Brannick's story in book 2 is as captivating as book 1. Both characters have matured but Flora's development definitely steals the show. The effect faerie has on her becomes more and more evident as the book goes on.
As always, the chemistry between the two is captivating and made my heart break for the ending. No spoilers but goodness is the wait for book 3 going to kill me.
Please do yourself a favor and read this series. It is flawless and will forever be the standard I hold other fae/mortal romance books to.
I loved this second book in the series! Elora is ready to do anything to help Brannick to keep her sisters safe and I loved how things unfolded. The intrigue of Queen Alessandra and the danger she presents was so well written. I absolutely love Kay's writing and how she spins the story. It becomes vivid in my thoughts as I read and become immersed in the world she creates! The end!! What a wild ride! Definitely recommend but you will want the whole series ready to read!
I had forgotten most of the story when I started, and that is a shame. The first pages are slow and confusing if you don’t know the events from Book 1. However, I caught on quickly. Having sacrificed her humanity, Elora became the rock stuck in the tires, changing the flow of Faerie’s future. No one expected her to survive, and prince Brannick brought her sisters to Faerie as moral support.
But becoming a fae did not gain her any intrinsic knowledge, and her sisters knew more than she did. That was funny! Elora wanted to save the kingdom and the pixies, but she was still unable to access her newfound magic nor understand her fae-ness.
To be honest, I got annoyed at Elora. In her desperate grasp for power, she ignored the fact she was just as capable before she became Fae. When Chloe asked to help, Elora dismissed her. I was so upset, but Chloe and Grace later became a focal point in the war to overthrow the new Queen. I only changed my mind near the end with the Troll scene. You have to read the troll scene! It brings back what I like about her!
Elora’s quest towards enlightenment involves overcoming her emotional outbursts and discovering her own strengths. Saving the pixies to save the realm is a metaphor for recognizing the value in little things. The thorns and snowflakes in the castle are not just obstacles.
As a novel geared towards younger souls, the theme of being displaced, moving and starting all over, is bittersweet. Her younger sisters adjust easily, since they could study poetry and music anywhere, and their home is where the family resides. Friends, work, potential loves, all the elements that could prevent a person from moving towards a better future are not as important for Elora, Grace, and Chloe. Your desire for adventure is quite deadly sometimes. You know that, right?”
I love Kay Moody’s writing and the images her words evoke. Elora and Prince Brannick are sorting out their true feelings for each other. A very difficult thing to do in the midst of what is more or less a war. Someone is going to be the High Queen or High King and there are several contenders. Greed is a huge part of Faerie but it is proving to be its downfall as well. Elora is still struggling with the grief over losing her family, guilt over her sisters, not wanting to return to the mortal world or her unwanted marriage. How can she help save Prince Brannick in all the ways he needs saving, and also do what needs to be done for her sisters? It would be a bonus if she could help the rest of her friends and maybe find a way to stay in Faerie forever, despite Prince Brannick’s refusal to let her stay.