‘A Vow So Bold and Deadly’ – Brigid Kemmerer

When I first started reading Book One I had quite a strong view of how I imagined things might eventually be resolved. As the series continued it was clear that might not be an option, but starting this I was hopeful we’d get some answers.

As the book opens we are in a horribly fractured place. Rhen has – for many – committed an act of betrayal in his treatment of Grey. He vows to do the best for his people, but he seems to be struggling with himself as to exactly what this will entail. Grey is finding it hard to win over the army he is now expected to help lead. Lia Mara is determined to rule with compassion, but for those accustomed to her mother’s violence it is seen as a sign of weakness. Harper is somewhat relegated to the sidelines for much of this as everyone knows she’s no princess and yet her counsel seems to be the only thing that can get through to Rhen.

For much of the book we’re dealing with fractured relationships and people trying to do their best to lead without being fully aware of every eventuality. It’s a bit of a mess, and once we know Lillith has returned I started to doubt we’d get anything resolved.

Focusing on different viewpoints throughout did help to allow us time to understand the motivations of each character, but it does rather hide the fact that for a substantial part of the book nothing is actually happening…it’s all about what might happen or how things could be. Maybe this is a sign of lockdown fatigue, but when things are so uncertain how can you plan?

Once we shifted to the moments following Lillith’s bold move it was obvious we were going to have a big episode. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I do think it fits within the series and nicely resolves some elements. Though this is released as the final part of the trilogy, the new elements that get introduced certainly don’t rule out the possibility for a return to this world at some point.