*I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how to write this review because I feel conflicted about this book.
Much like the others in the series, this was a slower-paced book that kept me on my toes with intrigue rather than tons of action. One of the things I loved most was just how unpredictable everything was. I seriously never had a clue what was going to happen at any point until the very moment it happened. The romance aspect was especially unpredictable to me. But it was all a good kind of unpredictable because it always made sense and fit the characters once it did happen. I definitely had no trouble getting hooked and ended up reading most of the book in one night even though I didn’t mean to!
I also found King Cyrus to be an interesting character. He could’ve been such a good person! Sometimes he was so open and vulnerable and sincere and honest… but then he would turn around and snap right into complete psychopath mode. Just as he said, being immortal for so long apparently made him dissolve into madness. I kind of felt some empathy for him, or maybe I wanted to feel empathy for him? But his cruelty always came through and reminded me not to let my guard down with him, even though he sometimes made it hard not to.
The problem was, I found the book a little anticlimactic. After the sheer emotion and intensity of the second book, I think I was expecting more of that. And I think I was also expecting a little more chaos after everything I’d been told about King Cyrus. Yes, he delivered on the sick, twisted games he played, but he still didn’t bring as much craziness as I thought he would. That might be on me though for having certain expectations. Another problem I had was that the absence of certain characters left me missing the emotion and depth they brought to past books, especially since Keary Taylor’s characters are always so three-dimensional, including the side ones, and therefore bring so much life to the stories. But, luckily, I assume most of them will be back in future books.
As for Alivia’s character, she just left me feeling confused. I absolutely LOVED her in the first two books, but, as much as I hate to say it, I didn’t like Alivia in this book. But Alivia didn’t even like Alivia in this book. And neither did some of the other characters. So she was absolutely not a poorly written character, just one who changed (temporarily?) for the worse, and I can’t fault an author for making her character dynamic, especially when Alivia seems to still be growing and capable of getting back on the right track. Plus, the author’s ability to portray this change is fantastic because she always does it in subtle ways rather than smacking you over the head with it.
So overall, even though this book was more subdued than the last, I still enjoyed it and got sucked in. And the way everything built up again, plus the way it ended, has me very much look forward to the next one!
Fans of Books 1 and 2 in Keary Taylor's House of Royals Series. Readers who like character growth, complicated relationships, chosen family, intrigue, and a different take on vampires.
More Books in the Series:
Book Review: House of Royals (House of Royals Book 1) by Keary Taylor
Book Review: House of Pawns (House of Royals Book 2) by Keary Taylor
Book Review: House of Kings (House of Royals Book 3) by Keary Taylor
Book Review: House of Judges (House of Royals Book 4) by Keary Taylor
Book Review: House of Ravens (House of Royals Book 5) by Keary Taylor
Book Review: Garden of Thorns (House of Royals Book 6) by Keary Taylor
Unpredictable is good, I like stories a lot more if they surprise me or are at least not predictable. Sounds like some fave characters weren’t in this one though- hopefully they show up in the next one. Almost a transition book maybe? It looks like an interesting read- vampires and intrigue. 🙂
Yeah, my favorite character has been the girl MC, but she wasn’t herself in this one, and two other characters I really like weren’t really in this one. But it’s still a good series. I always like books about vampires lol, but I don’t normally like books with politics or intrigue. This series just does it so well and really hooks me with it!
I really have to read the first book in this series soon as it sounds like such a good series and I like it when books are unpredictable. That’s too bad the book was a bit anticlimactic after the second book. It’s sad when your expectations can influence your enjoyment like that. That’s a bit weird how Alivia her character changes so much you didn’t like her anymore in this book, let’s hope it’s temporary. I do like how you say it’s been done sutble.
I like it when villains are written well and you can’t help but sympatize with them. There’s a character in the Amanda Lester series and he’s evil, but there’s also some good inside fo him and he has a bit of both sides and he’s being mean and nasty, but also shows his ncie side and I cna’t help by emphatize with him. And ofcourse Annakin from Star Wars, especially in the clone wars series, I love it how he slowly turns a bit more dark and still I can’t help but love his character and the reason he turns dark. I like characters who care so much about others and it’s interesting what characters will do to save them or what drives them to that brink of doing something bad for the right reasons. I like villaians like that with shades of grey and even though they do bad things, you know there’s good inside them as well.
I remember that you downloaded the first book, so I do think you should read it! I want to know what you think! Yeah, you just posted about expectations recently, didn’t you? It was still a good book though. And I feel like Alivia’s change probably is temporary since she could see herself that she was becoming someone she didn’t like. So I feel like she wants to change.
Those kinds of villains are the best though because you kind of like them and sympathize but then you have to keep reminding yourself that they’re doing terrible things so you shouldn’t like them! They confuse me, but in a good way. I feel like I always want them to stop being the villain, to just go to that good side and stay there so that I can love them properly lol. But they never do.
I have The House of Royals needing to be read, Kristen. And I’m rather anxious since you’re enjoying the series so much, even if this book missed the mark a little. One thing you can say though is that Taylor stirred up your emotions with this book…maybe not in the way she intended or the way you thought it would, but you have some definite feelings about Alivia and King Cyrus. 😉 I love how you describe Taylor’s ability to show the character growth that Alivia is experiencing…that even she didn’t like herself in this book. Hopefully I can start this series soon so we can chat about it. 🙂
I will definitely be down to talk about it once you read it 🙂 And yes, this book was a bit of a miss for me, but not so much that I disliked it or that I don’t still love the series. And yes, you’re right, I still had some feelings about the characters, even if one some of those feelings were negative, which means she still did a good job of making the characters fleshed out and making me care about them!