In book 3 of The Cursebreaker trilogy, everything is coming to a head. Rhen and Grey are on opposing sides of a soon to begin war for Emberfall. Grey has given Rhen two months before an attack and we follow Rhen, Grey, Harper and Lia Mara to the conclusion.
Is A Vow So Bold and Deadly even in the same series that started where book 1 was? I don’t know…
Brigid Kemmerer does what she does which makes the book easy to read, the story well-paced and written and provides complex characters and situations. But this third book feels like an entirely different story to the first.
While I can agree that the ending is realistic, there is so much I’m irked by. Mostly, the butchering of Rhen and Harper, their relationship, journey and ending. All of which I found confusing, frustrating and unfair.
I get that Rhen is a complicated character who was not so nice before the curse and continued to do some questionable things during the process of the series. However, delving into Rhen’s POV in this book, it seemed like Kemmerer wanted to paint his actions as understandable and somewhat justified. Rhen seems remorseful, hurt and like a huge victim who has been pretty much forced into doing much of his previously unforgivable actions. I was so convinced that nothing would make me like Rhen again after his actions in A Heart So Fierce and Broken, but Kemmerer somehow managed it! YET he continues to be treated like an untrustworthy, cold, villain by everyone despite these things being revealed.
Harper, who has always been kind, giving, self-sacrificing and strong willed is treated by others like an abuse victim who can’t see she’s being abused and thus cannot be trusted either. Don’t even get me started on the fact that her own brother is so on Grey’s side and gives her so little support.
History seems to be discounted, Grey’s mistakes seem to be entirely forgiven and overall the entire moral high ground seems to lie with Grey and Lia Mara who both get both kingdoms in the end, genuine growth, a baby on the way and an actual happy ending.
Rhen on the other hand is pretty much entirely humiliated, lost his kingdom, lost his eye, is scarred up so bad he makes children cry and has no idea what to really do with his life. It feels like the growth and struggle Rhen went through in book 1 is sacrificed as payoff to Grey.
Not the mention that the ending fight is just against the same villain in book 1. Which Rhen only defeats by being turned into a monster by Grey so technically he didn’t really contribute to finally ending his own tormenter himself because Grey is better I guess.
3/5 – Wonderfully started, frustratingly resolved.