I don’t want to just repeat all the things I said in my first review. I still liked Wyatt and thought he had a fun teen voice. I still liked all the other characters I liked before, and this time I liked and felt for even more characters, since I got to know them better over the course of the books. I still liked the trans rep. I’d rather focus on the things that were great, or different, about this book specifically.
This book got a lot darker than the first. The characters were dealing with the fallout from previous events and also dealing with a lot of trauma. It’s nice to see that in a book, characters being understandably affected by the things they’ve gone through. But they also had a lot to still go through. Some of it was really messed up. Some of it was sad. One thing felt just particularly tragic to me. But it wasn’t all bad, and there was always hope.
The magic and backstory of the fae and witches was also explained more and expanded upon in this one, and that was really interesting! Things about it that the author clearly planned and understood the whole time, even if the characters didn’t.
These books are very political and discuss a lot of current issues in society. They also discuss queerness a lot. It’s heavy-handed, but with the way the world is, it can be good to have books that just clearly discuss things. And the author found the words to explain certain ideas so concisely and perfectly. I also personally really enjoyed the discussion about gender and asexuality. It can be helpful and sometimes validating to learn about other people’s, or characters’, experiences.
It was also just a good story. It kept my attention. I cared and wanted to know what would happen. The ending was a bit… not sudden. There was a complete story, and you know the current state of each character. But it ends very soon after the climax and leaves the future somewhat implied but very nebulous. (As far as I know, this was the end.) I’m ok with it, but I wouldn’t say no to a little epilogue that takes place even just a few weeks or months into the future.
The audiobook narration by Dani Martineck was great again! They sounded natural, perfectly captured Wyatt’s personality, and did a wide variety of voices and accents that usually made it easy to keep track of who was speaking.
Overall, this was a duology I really enjoyed!
Trigger/content warnings can be found at the beginning of the book.
Fans of Book 1 in H.E. Edgmon's The Witch King series. Anyone who likes YA, fae, relatable teen main characters, distinct voice, trans rep, and good guy princes you dislike at first but grow to love.