Available in Kindle Unlimited here, or as an audiobook.
When Aria returns to the Fair Realm to attend a ball at the Salamander castle, it isn’t long before things take a turn for the deadly.
With her father’s home in ashes and her newfound family reduced to dust, Aria finds herself King Auberon’s captive once more. Deep within the mountains that border the Celeste Kingdom, Aria is powerless to fight back, her newly-discovered abilities suppressed by the weight of the rock that surrounds her. But when a Celeste guard whispers about rebellion and promises to help her escape, Aria is desperate to trust him.
Crown Prince Xander returns home to the Gnome castle, laden with grief for his brother and father, and dreading the day he will be crowned king. Preparations are underway for his marriage and coronation, but thoughts of the girl he betrayed trouble him day and night. Until the morning of his wedding, when a note arrives that Aria has been taken by Auberon once more, and Xander is forced to choose between his life of duty and obedience, and what he believes is right.
The second book sees us in the Fair Realm the whole time. There’s a visit to a new kingdom, and more interesting world building.
Bad things happened in the first story, but poor Aria really suffers this time. She still doesn’t turn into a damsel, though. Go, Aria! Her determination and strength make it easy for me to see her becoming Queen.
I wanted to dislike Xander after his shenanigans before, but I have to admit he redeemed himself. While he feels grief and guilt, he never crosses the line into self pity or angst. He accepts his decisions and grows from them.
The slowburn romance between Aria and Xander progresses a bit, but the pace feels natural, given everything else going on in the story. I like that the relationship isn’t forced to happen between them.
There were more revelations and a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, but really appreciated.
Olivia Barnes-Brett returned as narrator for the second book and gave another wonderful performance bringing the story and characters to life.
Series: The Fair Chronicles |