As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.
With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?
Synopsis from Goodreads
I’ve seen this book in stores and photos for a year but never had the chance to pick it up. I decided to FINALLY read it this weekend because the sequel is coming out on Tuesday and I wanted to be able to jump from one to the other. And I’m really happy I did because I ended up really liking it!
Cause and Effects of Prescription Drugs
Wow! I thought this was incredibly well done; the way the author handled this case of drug abuse and abuse of trust that we see in this novel was excellent. We see how Carys has been manipulated to start taking this “medication”, only to realize that her own mother has actually been drugging her for years. As in the case of any type of drug, especially prescription drugs, once you start taking them there’s no way to easily stop. Seeing Carys going through a withdrawl at the end of this novel was heartbreaking. This is such a relevant theme and topic for today’s society, especially as opioid addiction is on the rise, leading to larger addictions and a population of people who are now trapped by this disease. Carys is so strong and I really look forward to seeing how she battles this addiction and figures out her own true strength in the next novel. Of course addiction is not something that’s easily moved on from, but I do have hope that because we are in a fantasy setting we get to see Carys beat this addiction.
Pretty Great Characters
The majority of the characters we meet are well throughout and I really enjoyed meeting them. I’m a HUGE fan of Carys — she’s so strong and smart, I couldn’t help but be blown away by her. I hate Andreas, which I think is the point, so kudos to Charbonneau there. I do wish we got to learn a little bit more about some of the secondary characters. I’d love to get more time with Lord Garret and figure out what secrets he knows about the royal family. At this point, I don’t have a super strong preference for who Carys ends up with (we’re getting teasers of love triangles) but I would like to get more on both Garret and Errik so that we can get a better idea of who these men are. And Larkin is clearly pretty badass herself if she’s willing to create ways for Carys to hide weapons in her dresses; she’s also proven herself to be loyal to Carys and I can’t wait to see what they get up to in the next book.
Story of Abuse
This is a story of abuse; Carys is abused by her family — physically and emotionally— as she is essentially taught that her brother is more important than her and she needs to do anything she can to save him. This include taking physical beatings and punishments so that he can safely tuck himself away. I don’t have an issue with protecting a sibling; I would take a punishment for any my siblings if it meant their safety. But this protection isn’t that. The emotional abuse she takes is as bad, if not worse, then the physical abuse she goes through. I actually hated Andreas from the moment we met him; the fact that he was running around trying to sleep with women while his sister is making sure that she’s trained enough to protect him blew my mind. I had zero patience or tolerance for him, so I was not surprised when he became the prick that he always seemed like.
I’m so happy I waited to read this book until right before the sequel came out because I don’t think that I would have been able to handle the wait between them! I really liked the way this story was told, the themes that are covered, and the characters we meet. There are a few things I hope are further developed in the sequel, but otherwise, I was really happy with this book!
FINAL RATNG: 4.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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