BY RAVEN KENNEDY
For ten years, I’ve lived in a gilded cage inside King Midas’s golden castle. But one night changed everything.
Now I’m here, a prisoner of Fourth Kingdom’s army, and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it out of this in one piece. They’re marching to battle, and I’m the bargaining chip that will either douse the fire or spark a war.
At the heart of my fear, my worry, there’s him—Commander Rip.
Known for his brutality on the battlefield, his viciousness is unsurpassed. But I know the truth about what he is.
The betrayers. The murderers. The ones who nearly destroyed Orea, wiping out Seventh Kingdom in the process. Rip has power sizzling beneath this skin and glinting spikes down his spine. But his eyes—his eyes are the most compelling of all.
When he turns those black eyes on me, I feel captive for an entirely different reason.
I may be out of my cage, but I’m not free, not even close. In the game of kings and armies, I’m the gilded pawn. The question is, can I out maneuver them?
I’m still not totally sold on this series, but just enough happens at the end of each book so far to make me want to continue. So while it’s still only a 2-3 star read for me, I’ll be continuing on with Gleam.
This series has so much potential, but the pacing is truly awful. It’s slow moving until around the 80% mark and then it gets interesting. We spend so much of this book trudging through the snow with Auren and the Fourth Army with not much else happening. She does make some friends who kinda open her eyes a bit to the abuse she suffers. I really enjoyed these characters, but we don’t really know anything about them just that they seem like good people. I’m hoping we get more of them in the next books.
Just when I think Auden is finally understanding that she’s a glorified pet being used and left to wither away, she sticks to her gilded cage. The character development is agonizingly slow with her. I get it I really do but we went a whole book and she’s still in love with her captor. Everyone, even her freaking enemy, tries to get her to see her life isn’t as great as she thinks it is. It’s honestly exhausting and as kind as she is she’s starting to lose me. I need to her to open her eyes and see she has the power to save herself.
So now you’re wondering why I’d even continue this series right? Two words. Commander Rip. That man has some secrets and I want to get to know all of them. I want Auren to get to know all of them. Does she need a man to set her free? I hope not but I want her to free herself and then have Rip stand beside her.
As with the first book, the ending gives us a bit of a cliffhanger. Totally saw it coming but was no less surprised because it seemed kinda far-fetched. Fingers crossed that the pacing is better in this next book (although I seriously doubt it) and the Auren finally gets her head together.
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