Oh, boy. This one, though. I waited for this book for ages and it was everything I hoped it would be. And more.
“Anyone, anything, can betray anyone. Even your own heart.”
The book starts where Red Queen left off, with Mare and Cal on the undertrain with the Scarlet Guard. There is action almost immediately, which thankfully lasts throughout the entire novel. There is hardly a dull moment in that department.
This book focuses more on the relationships of Mare – with Kilorn, Cal, and her brother, Shade – and the newbloods coming to terms with who they truly are and what they all must come together to do: stop Maven and the division of Reds and Silvers.
We also get to see Mare stray from her righteous path a bit. She goes from this virtuous Red to someone she barely recognizes – a person those closest to her barely recognize. I think that is one of the things I enjoyed most about this book, that the hero also sort of becomes the villain, albeit not as villainous as Maven or his Mommy Dearest.
And there is the ultimate betrayal to the readers. When a certain someone dies so suddenly that I literally had to stop, close the book, and take a minute to recuperate. Which does bring me to one thing I didn’t enjoy, that there are time-jumps, things that could be described and talked about, but are just skipped, which leaves something to be desired.
On another note, some of the other characters are humanized, namely Farley and her father, whose relationship is explored a bit in the beginning and a tad more towards the end.
And then there’s Cal, who I honestly keep waiting to betray them all (Maven as screwed me up). He is finally coming to terms with all that he’s lost, who he has become since losing the throne and being forced to murder his father. It’s a hard fall from grace, but we do get to see the soldier side of him, a stronger side that better suits him, I think.
All in all, this book was just as good, if not better, than the first, and I cannot wait until the third (and presumably, final) book in the series.