Special thanks to Heather Frost for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
🥳 HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO ROYAL CAPTIVE!!! 🥳
Goodreads: Royal Captive (Fate of Eyrinthia #3)
Publication Date: 18 March 2022
Genre: Young Adult Romance Fantasy
A DECOY trapped in a dangerous lie
A SERJAH searching for the truth
A PRINCE caught in a deadly game
A WORLD choked by secrets
Abducted during a devastating ambush, Clare is now the captive of ruthless mercenaries. Dragged through the wilderness while grieving heart-rending loss, she must maintain the illusion that she is the princess. Because if she lets the mask slip, even for a moment, the Mortisians will have no reason to keep her alive.
After arresting traitors close to the crown, Desfan fights to rebuild his court, knowing that the imminent arrival of the Devendran princess will further upset the precarious balance in Mortise. But Desfan’s world is rocked when he discovers a rumor that rewrites the most devastating event in his life. He will stop at nothing to find the truth–no matter where it leads.
As Grayson struggles to find his footing in Mortise, he discovers new friends and enemies. His life is further complicated by the tenuous alliance with his spymaster brother. With secrets deepening around him, Grayson must decide where his loyalties truly lie. Through it all, his heart remains in Ryden with Mia. Unfortunately, his love for her is no secret, and the Black Hand is a coveted weapon . . .
Eyrinthia holds its breath as allies and enemies collide. Secrets. Lies. Betrayals. Nothing will be the same.
CW/TW: abuse, kidnapping, murder, gore/violence, torture (captive), imprisonment
I’ll try to keep my review as non-spoilery as possible but there will still likely be character/event spoilers for the first two books in this review, so fair warning!
TL;DR: Royal Captive is an action-packed next instalment in the Fate of Eyrinthia series with plenty of politicking, a few kidnappings and assassination attempts, some swoony romances with new couples, plus a very exciting plot twist that raises the stakes even higher in this already deadly game of royals.
I’ve been waiting for book three ever since Royal Spy ended on the wildest of cliffhangers, so I was excited to dive back into this world the minute I got my hands on a copy. I decided that I was going to take my time reading it and I’m glad that I did!
Things pick up pretty much immediately after the events of book two and let’s just say chaos reigned supreme! 😂 The story moved at a pretty steady pace although it slows considerably at times as certain MCs spend the majority of the first-half moving from one location to another, and I find those types of scenes are a bit hard to make very dynamic. If I’m being honest, this felt a little bit more like a “filler” book with seemingly a lot happening though not of much significance for most of the story (if that makes sense). It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but I found that also contributed to the slower pace, especially towards the middle, and then the action really picked up again in the last roughly 30%. It did give us more time to get to know the characters though and I appreciated that because while the political intrigue and machinations are thrilling, the characters continue to be what makes this story most enjoyable for me!
It was great to be back with these characters! 😍 Just as in the previous books, we have our main royals and the familiar supporting characters: Grayson, Mia, Tyrell, Desfan, Serene, Karim, Bennick, Claire, Wilf, Imara, Liam and more, plus a whole slew of new characters too. Despite the very large cast and my sieve-like memory, I still found it easy to keep tabs on the whos and whats. Surprisingly, it was Grayson and Imara that were my faves here! Grayson is a little less lovesick over Mia and although his raison d’etre still centres on her, I feel like he experiences the most character development as he learns to negotiate court life and diplomatic relations with those who fear and despise him and Ryden. He continues to struggle with abiding by his morals and keeping his family happy enough to not harm Mia and it was so easy to empathise with him as he learns to care about others aside from her. Then there’s Imara, who we met in the previous book but see so much more of now. She’s so friendly and full of life and I loved that she befriends Grayson despite his awkwardness, and I love how supportive she is of everyone. I was a little surprised that we don’t get her perspective in this book because she even appears more often than Serene but I hope that we get her POV in the next book! 😃
The romance was something I loved in the first two books and I still enjoyed it here but I’m also feeling a little wary of the love web that’s being woven; plus, there was the love triangle that started forming in the last book and became a ‘thing’ here, and although nothing really happens and I tried to understand why it was written in, I still didn’t like it! 😂 This is definitely a personal preference because it’s not to say the romances aren’t swoony, I’m simply weak when it comes to angsty pining! 🥴 I’ll just say this: other than the love triangle, I love the new couples that form and I think that they’re all perfect for each other, I’m simply finding it hard to see how these threads will untangle and it makes me nervous—LOL! That said, I do believe Frost will be able to write it well.
There’s an exciting plot twist towards the end that had me screaming in shock and excitement because it was something I predicted in book one but then brushed off in the second book as the story went in a different direction. It was satisfying to see my prediction be right though and I’m so curious to see how this big and momentous revelation will play out in the next book because it makes the stakes that much higher and will have me rooting that much harder for these characters to succeed!
Overall, this was an instalment in the Fate of Eyrinthia series and I’m already looking forward to the next book (even though this one has literally just been released—welp, the wait time)! 🙈
Have you read the Fate of Eyrinthia series? Is Royal Captive on your TBR?