Special thanks to Heather Frost for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Check out my reviews for the previous books in the series:
Royal Rebel (Fate of Eyrinthia #4)
Pub Date: 21 April 2023
Genre: Young Adult Romantasy
A PRINCE fighting to save a princess
A SERJAH torn between duty and desire
A PRINCESS willing to sacrifice everything
A DECOY with nothing to lose
A WORLD about to be torn apart
After his father’s latest punishment, Grayson isn’t at his full strength. Trapped in Ryden and surrounded by enemies, he knows escaping with Mia will be more complicated than anticipated. Tyrell is determined to claim Mia for himself, and Henri’s plans for the rest of Eyrinthia are more horrific than Grayson ever imagined. Despite the increased danger, he and Mia must return to Mortise and warn Desfan of what’s coming—even though it may already be too late.
In Mortise, the palace is still reeling from the brutal attack that left many dead and even more wounded. Regardless of the chaos, Desfan is determined to continue with his coronation. As serjan, he hopes to bring stability to his country and solidify the peace with Devendra. But things in Eyrinthia are always complicated. When Prince Liam reveals they may be facing dangers from old enemies, Desfan will have to decide what kind of ruler he will be.
Devastating news from home has left Clare broken. Despite her heartache, she must once again be Serene’s decoy when a terrifying report sends the princess on an unexpected mission to Zennor. Left at the palace, Clare helps Desfan build trust with the elite in Mortise while guarding a treasonous secret. Because as her grief transforms into a burning desire for vengeance, she is finally ready to embrace a new role—rebel.
Eyrinthia is consumed by uncertainty. Duty. Desire. Sacrifice. Every rebellion has its cost.
⚠️ CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS
Graphic: Blood, Death, Injury/Injury detail, Kidnapping, and Violence
Moderate: Torture, Murder, Physical abuse, and War
Minor: Addiction, Alcoholism, Child death, and Drug use
**Note: as this is the fourth in a series where you must read the previous books to understand what’s going on, this review may contain mild spoilers for certain parts of the previous books, but I’ll try to keep it as vague and contained as possible!**
TL;DR: Royal Rebel was a great addition to the Fate of Erynthia series. The story continues to be action-packed, politically charged, and in this book, a new mystery full of sinister undertones is introduced and I absolutely cannot wait to know what happens next. It was a treat to reunite with the huge cast of characters and I loved how their relationships evolved—there are so many ships to ship! One thing is for sure: I’m ready for more!
My immediate thoughts after reading this were: NOAR, I WANT MOAR!!! 😭 Oof, I knew Frost wasn’t gonna let us walk away from this book with our hearts intact but holy granola, did my heart race, my toes tingle, and my head explode at everything that seemed to happen all at once in the last 30%! Woof, this ending was wild and I really really want to get my hands on the next book. Now. Please!
The story picks up almost immediately from where we left off in the previous book. We reunite with the huge (and expanding) cast of characters spread across the wide expanse of locations in Eyrinthia. We had Mia, Grayson and the nasty ass Kaelin family in Ryden; a big chunk of main characters still in Mortise (Desfan, Karim, Imara, Serene, Cardon, Wilf, Clare, Bennick, and Liam to name a few), and later on in the book a few characters make their way to Zennor. The plot remains pretty politically heavy but I still found it fascinating to read about the machinations and scheming of these good-hearted and well-intentioned royals as they’re pitted against the nastiest, most power-hungry, depraved and merciless enemies one would hope to never face! If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll probably recognise the pattern of Frost’s writing in that much of the pacing in the first half is slower and a little meandering, with the pace steadily but quickly picking up in the second half.
I feel like in this book, there was a lot more movement both on and off the page compared to the previous books and Frost also introduces a mystery aspect, with whole villages suddenly going missing, and I really enjoyed the sinister atmosphere that seems to be brewing beneath the surface just out of sight. Where are all these people being taken? Are they alive or dead? Whos’ taking them? I had my share of theories that I couldn’t stop telling Julie @One Book More about as we buddy-read this, and it was so nice to finally have someone I could actually talk to about this series! 😂
With the increasingly tense political plot and the mystery of the missing people, there’s still even more that goes on with the characters and their relationships, and they are still my favourite part of this series. It was nice to reunite with all of them but I have to say my favourite couples in this book were: Imara + Desfan and Serene + Cardon.
- Imara + Desfan: As they’re promised to others for political reasons, the forbidden and growing romantic feelings between them created some delightfully angsty and emotionally charged moments of epic pining, especially from Desfan. The man is a simp and we stan! I loved their connection and how much they cared for each other. Desfan continues to be one of my favourite characters in the story, although I don’t envy him his position and the complex decisions he has to make. Imara complements his character so well with her sharp tongue, wit, and fierceness. My heart was all tangled up knowing the predicament they were in, especially when Imara’s brute of a betrothed stepped into the picture.
- Serene + Cardon: Theirs is also a forbidden romance but between a princess and her bodyguard. Cardon is the stoic and grumpy older bodyguard who would literally die for the woman he’s not only sworn to protect but whom he fiercely loves. Serene has a much smaller role in this book and although she has big decisions to make for the rebellion, I enjoyed the more playful side to her character as she tries to get Cardon to open up to her and acknowledge his feelings for her and how they love each other. Their relationship arc really had me in a tight hold and I really really need to know what happens after that cliffhanger with the two of them at the end—my heart was in my throat!
The other couples, of which there were plenty, were great as well, especially Clare + Bennick. They’re the “OG” couple whose relationship has really stabilised over the course of the series, even if they still can only be together away from the public eye due to Clare’s role as Serene’s decoy. They were very sweet and although they definitely go through it (again) in this book, with a former enemy coming back out of nowhere for some very tense life-threatening scenes, I’m so glad that they’re (seemingly) getting the HEA they deserve!
That said, the couple that’s most heavily featured in Royal Rebel is Mia + Grayson—and unfortunately, their relationship delves a bit into love triangle territory with Tyrell. I very passionately disliked Tyrell and my toes curled up with distaste every time he would try to talk Mia out of being with Grayson and every time he would get in between them out of some twisted and misplaced belief that Mia had romantic love for him. Like, the whole man needed to be thrown out, please and thank you! 😂 We all know how I feel about love triangles so I wasn’t really into this and the ANGST started really getting to me, especially because Mia was too kind-hearted to see Tyrell in a negative light. While she stays very true to character, it definitely didn’t make it any easier to see her excuse Tyrell’s actions, simply because she believes there’s good in him. The scenes between the three of them and between Tyrell and Grayson were very intense and I’m honestly more than a little afraid for what the murderous Kaelin family has in store for Grayson—WHO MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS. HE’S TOO PRECIOUS.
Overall, this was an exciting addition to the Fate of Eyrinthia series that adds more tension and drama to an already politically tense and murderous story, and I really enjoyed it! 😃 I don’t know where Frost is going to take us next with this series but I do know that whatever is coming is going to be bad (lol, help) and I’m simultaneously terrified and impatient to find out what’s going to happen!
Is Royal Rebel on your TBR?
Have you read the Fate of Eyrinthia series?
10 thoughts on “ARC Review: Royal Rebel by Heather Frost”
[…] and I was so excited to get lost in the world of Eyrinthia again. I buddy read this with Dini @ Dini Panda Reads, and I’m so glad I did! It’s definitely the kind of book you want to talk about, with many […]
AMAZING review, Dini! I’m so glad we read this one together. It was such a wild ride!
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Thanks, Julie! 😍 I’m SO glad I finally have someone to talk to about this series cos it’s not one that you can keep quiet about while reading 😂 So many theories! I’m so keen to see where the story goes next!!!
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Great review! I am going to need to prioritize this series!
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I think this could be a series you enjoy, Joanna! 😃
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Lots of forbidden romance going on there. Love your energy for this one.
[…] ARC Review: Royal Rebel by Heather Frost […]
I have this series on my TBR. It’s awesome when a series has that many books and they’re still good!
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