|Read an ARC granted through NetGalley
When we last left Con and Lia, these two had gone from rivals to spouses, and this dynamic continuous throughout this sequel to The Orchid Throne.
Anure is still a big problem, but most of the political tensions in this fantasy stem from Con and Lia’s fundamental mistrust of each other. They are, after all, in a marriage of opportunity, rather than convenience. This especially comes to a head when they both learn that those in their inner circles also can’t be trusted. At least these reluctant spouses can trust in their own political selfishness and it works so well.
I also really like the growth journey Lia went through. She’s not only a badass in that way where she’s a stern, but just leader. The entire last quarter of the book has her going through some shit. She shifts from defensive to offensive, especially when it’s shown just how monstrous the false emperor can be.
In addition, I absolutely cannot wait to see how the truth about Calanthe, the tropical paradise island, comes to fruition.