Once A King by Erin SummerIll
Lirra has every reason to distrust Aodren. Yet when he asks for help to discover the truth behind the rumours, she can’t say no. With Lirra by his side, Aodren sees a way forward for his people.
But can he rewrite the mistakes of the past before his enemies destroy the world he’s working so hard to rebuild?
Synopsis from Goodreads
It took me a really long time to read this book. I really enjoyed Ever the Brave, but ended up being so frustrated with Ever the Bold and I honestly didn't know if I would ever finish the series. But...I can't leave a series unfinished, so I decided to give it a go when I was in a better frame of mind. I'm happy I waited, because there are definitely things about this book that I think I'm more understanding about now that time has passed.
Timeline Is Too Short
Like its predecessors, the timeline of the events in this book is incredibly short. It seems like the entire story unravels within a week, which didn't seem realistic too me. Aodren is constantly talking about being isolated, and lonely, and afraid to trust people because of his position as king, but he promptly forgets all of that when he meets Lirra again. Likewise, Lirra is almost constantly alone because of her position helping her father, but she also completely falls for Aodren within days of meeting him. Any time the line "I let my walls come down with you" is written into a story, it seems clear to me that everyone is acknowledging that this all happened too fast, but we're trying to explain it away.
Aodren and Lirra are Very Naive
For a man who has been trained to be king and a girl who is supposed to be helping her father with spy work, Aodren and Lirra are almost unbelievably naive about things! It really did feel like they stumble across answers more than they actually used their wits to figure it out. How does NO ONE realize that Leif is clearly taking Sanguine? I couldn't understand how two people who are studying this incredibly toxic drug are completely oblivious that someone they care about is using it. A lot of things that were meant to be a twist or surprise were just a bit too predictable, which made it annoying when Aodren and Lirra are both surprised by it.
Ultimately, They Make a Good Couple
In the end, I'm a sucker for love and really just want every character I read about to have a happy ending. I did ultimately like that they ended up together (although again, this was not at all surprising, so the amount of time dedicated to them thinking about it was a pretty big waste) because I think they could both really use someone to trust and rely on in their lives. These are two very isolated characters, so any chance for them to have real relationships is a good thing.
Overall, this novel is a pretty simple ending to the series, mainly for people who wanted to know what happened with Aodren after Britta finally makes her choice. There are no massive surprises along the way, but it is a nice way to see a conclusive happy ending (and we find out that Britta is on her honeymoon, so that's cute!). I'd recommend this to anyone who really enjoyed the first two books and want to see Aodren again!
FINAL RATING: 3/5
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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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2020 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has read 20 books toward her goal of 85 books.
2019 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has read 5 books toward her goal of 90 books.
2018 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has completed her goal of reading 80 books in 2018!
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