Author: Jennifer Anne Davis
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Length: 366 pages
Sentenced to be executed.
Hung on the gallows.
Rema thought her life was over, but she was wrong.
Saved by a rebel force she’d only ever heard rumors about, Rema finds herself in a forbidden place. She is finally safe—free from the king and Prince Lennek. But not everything is as it seems at the rebel fortress. Secrets are whispered, and loyalties are tested. Once Rema uncovers the truth of her heritage, will she flee? Or will she ascend to the throne, taking on the responsibility of an entire kingdom?
Now that Darmik knows Rema’s true identity, he’s on a quest to save her. But when an Emperion assassin arrives on Greenwood Island, Darmik knows he doesn't have very long to find her. In a deadly game with high stakes, will Darmik remain loyal to his family? Or will he break away and join the rebels?
Kingdoms rise and fall.
Heroes are born and made.
But one thing remains the same—love conquers all.
Protagonists: When we last left our protagonists Rema was being executed and Darmik was trying to make sure that no one would rescue her, thinking Rema was working for the rebels and trying to overthrow his family. To say that they come a long way by the end of this book is a vast understatement. Unlike the previous installment, it was very easy to see Rema's character devlop over the course of the book, she starts out a bit scared and confused but by the end of the book has grown much stronger and has become a much more well-rounded character. Darmik still struggles both with his feelings for Rema and his sense of loyalty to his family and that is put to the ultimate test in this book. I really loved how both these character's developed and while Rema's development is at times a bit rushed, it was still very satisfying to see.
Romance: So Rema and Darmik don't spend a lot of time together during much of the beginning of this book, in fact the first time they interact since the botched execution isn't until over halfway through the book. However the small amount of interaction we do get from them is really nice and helps solidify my feelings for them as a couple to root for. Unfortunately there is a bit of a love triangle in this book, though considering how this other character doesn't get chapters that follow him I didn't take it serious, and then it just got sad (not emotional but more shake my head.) This guy just got more and more annoying as time went on and while there were times that I really felt for him, his feelings for Rema moved way too fast and he made weird assumptions and is just not that likable a character.
World-Building: So in this book we get a much wider view of this world, instead of random villages and the castle we now get to know more about the rebels, where their hiding, what their plans are, and most importantly, what they've been doing for the last seventeen years. It's really quite fantastic to see and I was so engrossed in learning how their compound worked and how they haven't yet been discovered. We also get a bit of a peek at Emperion through an assassin that comes to the castle to make sure that Rema is properly disposed of. We get a bit more backstory on Emperion and their tyrannical ruler Emperor Hamen. I love how this world keeps growing and developing and by the looks of things that's not going to change anytime soon!
Predictability: So once again nothing in this book was all that shocking, save for the final twist and the end which I'll get to soon, but even some of the bigger twists I ended up being more excited for than shocked by. I will say though that one thing I didn't expect was how long it was going to take for Rema to know about her true heritage, I mean it took forever, I just kept expecting it to happen, but sadly it didn't come until pretty far into the book. Overall, I still liked how this book flowed because even though I was never particularly shocked the little surprises did keep to book enthralling.
Ending: I'm sorry, but Ms. Davis, you cannot end books like this! I mean, if the final installment of this series wasn't already out, I would probably have gone crazy! In all seriousness though the twist at the end of this book was pretty insane. It wasn't even the one thing that happened but the series of events that lead up to it, there wasn't much of a final climax, at least not in the traditional sense, where I would normally be able to isolate where it was. So much like the previous installment my favorite part, as aggravating as it was, was still the ending, though it did make me a bit scared to read Cage of Deceit when I get to it.
Much like many of the books I've been reading lately I deliberated long and hard on how many stars this book would get. I settled on four and a half because while there were elements to this book that were irritating, there was just SO MUCH more that I loved and I can't wait to complete this trilogy.