Monday, January 10, 2022

The Righteous - Renee Ahdieh

Summary: Following the explosive events of The Damned, Odette faces a vampire's final death. The Court of the Lions have done everything they can to save her but have failed. A healer from the Sylvan Vale could help her, but only Arjun Desai, as a half fey, can cross the boundary between realms. The Sylvan Vale is a world Arjun despises, and in return, it despises him. But knowing it could save Odette, he returns to the Vale with all haste, leaving the mirrored tare between the two worlds open and unwittingly setting the stage for both love and war.

It's mere days until Pippa Montrose is to wed Phoebus Devereux and become a member of his well-heeled family, offering salvation to her own. But Celine is missing. Pippa has no idea where her best friend has gone, but she's certain it's in the company of vampire Sébastien Saint Germain and that Arjun can lead her to them. Pippa enjoins the help of Eloise, the daughter of a powerful sorceress, to discover the gateway Arjun uses to travel between worlds. Pippa, tired of hesitating in life, marches right through in search of her friend. But what she discovers on the other side is a dangerous, duplicitous world full of mischief and magic she doesn't understand, and most unexpectedly, she finds love. (Summary and pic from goodreads.com)

My Review: I am glad that it hasn’t been that long since I read the second installment of this quartet, The Damned. You can read my review of that here. Why, you ask? Well, because it launches in right where it left off and never stops to catch you up at all. I know there are those readers out there who LOVE a series SO MUCH that they have to re-read the whole thing again each time a new installment comes out. I am not that kind of person. I don’t have time to re-read the books each time, and so I can either rely on my somewhat shoddy memory, or—and this is best case scenario—the author does a good enough job dropping hints about how it all is that I can remember and catch up quickly. While I was reading this book, it occurred to me that this whole quartet is written like it was supposed to be one large book. Like the author just presented it to her editor and they randomly cut it into four bite-sized sections. I think this works and provides the reader with some good cliffhangers at the end of each installment that keep you wanting more. However, I hope you have a good memory because you’ll need one if you want to know what’s going on. Also, this isn’t the kind of book that you can just pick up a random one in the series and know what is going on.

In my last review, I (probably unpopularly) admitted that I didn’t think it was that interesting of a second book. I am happy to report that I found this third installment much more exciting. I think one of the best things about it is that it was more focused on less characters. There are so many characters of different fantastical ilk in this series, many of them with French or fantasy names, that in the second book, I found it difficult to keep track of everybody and what they were doing. I also feel like it spread the story thin. However, because this installment was more focused on just a few sets of characters, which allowed Ahdieh to explore the characters more deeply and what was going on in their part of the story.

In addition to being a more focused story, I liked the characters in this book, especially the ones that had the most focus. I thought their story line was fun and took some good twists and turns. I do wonder if I missed what was going on in the first book with all these mystical creatures who just showed up (and it’s possible I just can’t remember because it’s been so long), but in this case it was ok. I made it work and could limp by with my limited memory of what they were and who they were, etc.

If you’re reading this series, I know you’ll be reading this book. You can’t miss book three of a book four series. I’m assuming you’re in it to win it, and you’ll be happy to know that this is a fast-paced, fun installment that will be a quick read and will leave you excited for the fourth and final installment.

My Rating: 4 Stars

For the sensitive reader: There is some limited language as well as some veiled discussions of sex. There is also some violence.

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