*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*
This book was well-written, but the plot was a bit of a let down for me.
Part of the problem was an “it’s not the book, it’s me” thing. I’m not always a fan of royal court politics, and even though I enjoyed it in the previous book, there was just too much of it in this book for my taste. I was also still kind of confused by the religion/history of the people aspect that was focused on more.
The other part of the problem was that hardly anything happened. All of the books in this series haven’t had super packed plots, but they had a goal and felt complete (in a sense). The first was about Scarlet and Liall meeting and discovering their feelings and starting a relationship. The second was about making their journey to Liall’s homeland. The third was about getting the people to agree on a new king. But this one was about… Scarlet being upset about Liall potentially having to marry Ressilka and Liall finding out he needs to travel the Temple Road? I know the series has an overarching plot, but it still frustrates me when individual books don’t have a goal or when the goal isn’t accomplished or failed by the end.
I will say, however, that the writing and the characters were still just as good as they were in the previous books. I especially liked the intimate moments and conversations between Scarlet and Liall because they were the kind of thing you don’t see in many books. Those moments felt natural and playful and like a real relationship. It helped me to feel the emotion between them, believe that they loved each other, and understand why. They had a natural comfort with each other that couples in books sometimes lack, and even though they did have struggles and disagreements, they actually talked and communicated eventually.
So overall, all the politics were not for me, and I couldn’t rate it higher because it felt more like half a book than a full one, but I still enjoyed the book because it still had the same good writing and characters.
Fans of Books 1-3 in Kirby Crow's Scarlet & the White Wolf Series. M/M high fantasy readers who like slow-paced, character-focused books with sweet relationships.