“The final battle is coming . . .
As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever . . .”
To start off – once again a beautiful book cover and so relevant to the story!
The story is mostly told from the two main female leads – Twylla and Errin, with the other characters very much being in the background, which for the characters we love such as Silas and Merrek is a real shame.
However it does give us the opportunity to switch between the resistance outside the castle with Twylla and inside enemy lines in the castle with Errin.
Twylla for me has the most character development in this book – and has grown so much from the naive, spoilt little girl of the first book and part of the second, thank goodness! Although still frustrating at times – I actually feel her struggles are more real what with the new found responsibilities she has to make without any of her friends or family around her. I think anyone would struggle after learning the past of her family, loosing her mother, the previous loss of her sister, the betrayal of her first love and the loss of her status within the court. However I will come back to her character towards the end of the book.
As I mentioned the male character are very much an orbit around the female leads – which is a bit of a change from the previous two books where we spent so much time with them, which is fine for the Sleeping Prince but Leif has been with us from the beginning.
Whilst we start to find what makes Leif tick, its very much towards the end of the book and doesn’t quite satisfy, his motives are hinted at but never fully explained, was he good or evil or just morally bent! I love seeing into the mind of the ones doing the harm and understanding how they justify it! As a villain sadly it doesn’t end well for him, but to be honest I felt it could have been done differently – it left my wondering why it had to happen the way it did? I still can’t work out if he was a true villain or just in way over his head, gah!
The chapters we spend with Errin and Aurek, the Sleeping Prince, and his creepy obsession with her are just downright… well creepy! The twisted things he made her do with his voodoo magic were awful to read and had me wishing to slap his stupid face! I also felt that Melinda took the harder route for her villain he didn’t torture or physically harm her but mentally – which is almost worse, well done Miss Salisbury for not going for the standard bad character who harms the girl physically – but scars her invisibly!
Also the friendship that develops between Errin and Merrek was downright cute and the little brightness in that horrible castle!
I did enjoy the time spent with Errin in her apothecary – it enjoyed hearing all about how she dissects the ingredients and works out how to counter and create her medicines and poison! Like Twylla I did feel a little overwhelmed and out of my depth when she started explaining all the elemental tables etc – but I am glad that Salisbury didn’t feel the need to explain this to her readers (sometimes can come across as a bit dummies guide *eye rolls*).
Also I am pleased that Melinda Salisbury is still able to surprise me – the kidnapped children – DID.NOT.SEE.THAT.COMING! But once again feels totally believable the crazy Sleeping Prince and his devious mind would do! I am also glad that like most authors – we don’t get the sob story of why he is so evil and actually is just mis understood! He is evil and thats all there is too it! Good at least there is one character that we know where we stand with!
The book really builds throughout – with much death, destruction and betrayal. However here come the BUT, I found maybe the ‘final battle’ between the Sin Eater’s Daughter, Twylla, and Aurek, The Sleeping Prince was a little anticlimactic and too easy! He is like a million years old, a powerful magic wielder and fierce warrior and he was beaten by a dress wearing young girl?!hmm I am all for girl power – but I would have preferred something a bit more of a showdown and Twylla got lucky to best him, rights maybe a bit more true?!
So lets go back to Twylla after this has all happened – she now believes that after all she has done to ‘hold the kingdom together’ she should now rule and be the judge to sentence out justice to the people who sides with The Sleeping Prince – hmmm. Yes I get that she was trained by the previous queen how to rule – but seriously, like she was such a great role model! Sadly not sure I agree – I agree maybe put her as a chief advisor or lead council member or something, but for Merrek to just hand her the crown – again not sure I felt that it was the right thing. After all that man has done for her – she really now has taken everything from him all because she was jealous of him! Isn’t this how we all got into this mess in the beginning a crazy self righteous, jealous woman wearing a crown!
I did feel the ending between Errin and Silas a little cheesy – how Twylla was able to save him with her cursed blood as a counteract to his cursed blood (when constantly throughout the books we were told again and again that only another of his kind could save him). It was a bit like the miracle Phoenix tear that saved Harry Potter – at least I expected it from a kids book!
So other than a few nightmares to battle through – everyone (randomly including Errin and Leif’s mother) are all unharmed and cured to live another day!
All in all, my favourite of all the books – however I just wish the ending got a little more to it and a few more strings tied up (I am looking at you Merrek and Twylla).
Actual Rating – 4 Stars
If you enjoyed this book, I think you will also enjoy;
Red Queen (Red Queen 1) by Victoria Aveyard
Shatter Me (Shatter Me 1) by Tehereh Mafi
What I will be reading next;
Okay so my friend wrote and published a book – you can find it on amazon on Kindle and Paperback! So I OF COURSE had to buy and read it!
Rebel’s Blade (The Aermian Feuds Book 1) by Frost Kay