A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.
When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.
At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.
I have a soft spot for Mary E. Pearson’s books. She’s a master at worldbuilding and angst, and her other series sent me over the roof with feels. Naturally, I was eager to get my hands on this new series set in the same world!
In short, I loved it, but I will say it was long and took me a while to get my bearing. Since it’s been a while since I’ve read her other books, I had a hard time figuring out where I was in the world. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure where the new country/land is – but I imagine the final book will have a map! I also had a hard time remembering the ending of the series (who ended up ruling where) so I suggest doing a quick once-over of the finale if you’re coming from the other books.
While this book starts off with an entirely new cast, I was delighted to see old characters on the side. As far as the new (main) characters – this is told in a dual POV. The first is Kazi, a member of the queen’s Rhatan, and Jase, a leader struggling for power in a new land we’ve never seen before. The beginning felt mostly like backstory on the two main characters, so it lagged a bit for me personally, but when Kazi and Jase collide, things really take off!
As always, Pearson writes characters with depth and heart, and you’ll find yourself falling for both Jase and Kazi. When they meet, they hate each other -the makings of a perfectly good story. Basically, the queen sends Kazi to a semi-contested land (basically one family rules it, but the borders are unclear). They believe the captain who betrayed Morrighan is hiding there under the protection of said family. So, Kazi is supposed to fish him out and bring him back to the queen for justice. However, when Kazi runs into Jase, they have a… skirmish of sorts that I wont spoil… and both end up being kidnapped and hauled away by a slave trader.
That’s all I’ll say about the plot. Be prepared – the book is looooong. But that means plenty of room for betrayal on multiple levels, and angst like you wouldn’t believe. I did wish the pace was a bit snappier but I can’t deny the richness of the world and the details put into the characters. And as always, I loved Mary’s writing!
If you’re a fan of the Remnant Chronicles, definitely give this one a go!