Friday, August 19, 2022

The Heretic Royal by G.A. Aiken: review

4/5 stars on Goodreads

The Heretic Royal is the third book in The Scarred Earth Saga and exactly the kind of bat-sh*t craziness I was hoping for. None of the characters are nice or pleasant, and none of them like each other very much, yet they form a warm—if homicidal—whole. Everything is chaotic, no one’s doing anything proactive to oust the bad queen, and dragons do their best to make things worse.

The book begins where the previous one ended, with the arrival of dragons from Aiken’s earlier series—a cliff-hanger that made it an agonisingly long wait for this book. They instantly amp up the insanity level, and most of the book is about Keeley and her family dealing with them, the war on the background.

There are several point of view charcaters, some of which don’t have much to do. The main ones are (on paper anyway) the fourth eldest sister Ainsley, and Gruff, a centaur warrior asked to guard her. They’re the romantic couple of the book, but the romance is extremely low key among the chaos. It basically takes place during a couple of chapters at the end of the book. Still, I liked them both. They made a good couple and spent most of the book interacting with each other, so the romance didn’t spring out of nowhere.

The rest of the book is spent in crazy antics with seemingly no plot, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. There was a small cliff-hanger (mountain dropper?) at the end, but what will draw me back are the characters that I love one and all. Can’t wait to read the next one.

I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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