by Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 9th, 2016
Some kisses come at a price.
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.
At least, that’s what he thinks.
In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.
But no one gets what they want just by wishing.
As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?
I gave this book 5 stars. The plot thickened with this book. I am so bad at battle strategies and really any strategies. This book blew my mind, just the way that things were put into motion had me surprised. I always love books that have good plot twists and have characters that know how to win. It's because I like to be so straight forward about things that this is always delightful. I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it to everyone. It was sweet, romantic, and vengeful. The perfect combination.
Throughout this series I have found it a happy surprise, seeing how sweet Arin actually is. In the beginning of the first book, he was kind of an asshole. There's really no doubt about it. But that's only because he was a slave so it's understandable that he would be put out. I found the whole thing suprising, because Kestrel used to own him, and now he spends all his time basically trying to protect her from everything. Arin is such a good guy and I love everything about him.
What I loved about this book is that Kestrel changed, I loved her before, but I felt like she needed something more, just to make her a bit more down to earth, she really hadn't had anything bad happen to her before, so it was probably a very big learning experience for her, especially since it was her own father that did this entire thing to her. It made her rethink everything she knew. It was very good character development.
Roshar is my favorite character he is so funny. My favorite part of this entire book was when he was arguing wuth the cook about the cooking of a steak for his pet tiger. This shit is legendary
"...you don't understand. The piece of meat must be the finest, cut from the loin, seasoned with this spice, not that one...and it must be well roasted on the outside, almost charred, yet bloody inside. Bright pink. Listen. This is crucial. If anything goes wrong, the banquet will be ruined."
Oh, you think that was great? It get's better.
"There you are." Rosier beamed. "I need your help, Arin."
"For the preparation of meat?
"It's very important. You must impress this importance upon your cook here. The fate of political relations between my country and yours hangs in the balance."
"Because of meat."
"It's for his tiger," said the cook.
"He's very particular."
Just when you think it will go down from there, it goes up. Beautiful.
"You can't bring the tiger to the banquet."
"Little Arin has missed me. I will not be parted from him."
"Would you consider changing his name."
What if I begged?"
"Not a chance."
"Roshar, the tiger has grown."
"And what a sweet big boy he is."
"You can't bring him into a dining hall filled with hundreds of people."
"He'll behave. He has the main and manners of a prince."
"Oh, like you?"
"I resent your tone."
"I'm not sure you can control him."
"Has he ever been aught but the gentlest of creatures? Would you deny your namesake the chance to bear witness of our victorious celebration? And, of course, to the vision of you and Kestrel: side by side, Herrani and Valorian, a love for the ages. The stuff of songs, Arin! How you'll get married, and make babies---"
"Gods, Roshar, shut up."
That was the most fantastic thing I've ever bore witness to. I seriously love his dramatic ass.
So moving on, when Kestrel was playing the game with the Emperor, I was sure she had something up her sleeve, but then she got really nervous, and I was for sure that whatever she had planned was going to work, I was so nervous for her. I remember the mention of the poison early on in the book, remembered Kestrel asking Roshar about it, but I figured since it was so rare, it probably wasn't going to be in play, or at least largely in play. It was little but large and I'm glad that this book character is as strategic and smart as she is.
I still hate the General. After everything he put Kestrel through, I figured she wouldn't care if he died, despite her loving him, he may love her, her may not. Still doesn't take back what he did to her.
Also, I hope Verex and Risha have a big happy family and they get married and run off together and have a good time. Rich has grown on me, I didn't really care about her in the second book, she didn't really catch my eye or anything, but she definitely stepped up in this book. I really hope she will forgive Roshar, too.
Well, I'm just happy that no one I loved died, and my ship sailed.
"Dear ghost, he will tie you and me up and dump us both in a very large hole before he allows you to do what you plan to do."
"She wished that she'd had the courage that very moment to tell Arin what she'd finally known to be true: that she loved him with the whole of her heart."
“You don't need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.”
“Arin pulled her onto his lap. He held her shaking form, tucked his face into the crook of her cold neck as she sobbed against him. He murmured that he loved her more than he could say. He promised that he would always choose her first.”