“even the best of us are willing to lie for those we love.”sarah henning
Series: Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #2
Release Date: July 6th 2021
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction | Fantasy | Retelling | Romance
Page Count: 352
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in collaboration with Terminal Tours. Thank you!
Synopsis: The breathtaking sequel to The Princess Will Save You in the Kingdoms of Sand and Sky duology — a brilliantly-executed YA fantasy homage to The Princess Bride
To stay together forever, Princess Amarande and her stableboy love, Luca, must part: Amarande to reclaim her kingdom from usurpers, and Luca to raise a rebellion and find his destiny. Arrayed against them are all the players in the game of thrones for control over the continent of The Sand and Sky. Facing unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds, their only hope is the power of true love…
*Beware of spoilers for the first book if you haven’t read it yet!*
I would like to welcome a new book into the fold of I-Avoided-the-Middle-Book-Syndrome. I believe that Kingdoms of Sand and Sky was initially meant to be a duology but NetGalley spoiled a while ago it was in fact going to be a trilogy and the rest of the media has caught up now. And with the twists that took place at the end of the first book that were further fleshed out in this installment, I think it’s a great choice to move the story to three books rather than two.
Firstly, I LOVED the new characters that were introduced in this installment. Ferdinand is so cute and so pure and I just want to squish him like the jelly bean he is (yes, I know the contradiction in that statement but let me live!). I love the complexity of his character and the way he is determined to make his own decisions and be his own person despite the way that he was raised. I loved the conflict that his character’s appearance caused and I think the twist was handled so well and so satisfyingly. Getting to meet the Warlord of the Torrent and discover the mystery surrounding the title was also a great twist which added depth to the story.
The character development in this installment was great as well. Amarande’s strength, determination, and self-assuredness continued to be a cornerstone of the story which I enjoyed. Luca really came into his own in this book and I loved seeing him embrace the changes that have happened in his life. I also liked that the rough patches he experienced from the first book and in the pages of this one didn’t harden his heart and he’s still the kind, understanding man we first met. Surprisingly I really found myself looking forward to Taillefer’s portions of the book while reading. I was so upset and angry with him after the events of the first installment that I was dismayed to see he had a prominent roll in the second book. However, I really enjoyed the expansion of his character and the glimpses at his true self that he gave Amarande throughout their adventure. And his witty remarks always made me giggle even during the darkest times of the story.
Overall, the pacing of this book was better than the first in my opinion. It was far more interesting with more events happening and greater twists. If you enjoyed the first book, there is a very strong possibility that you will like this one even better. The stakes become so high and the characters grow so much that it even escapes the middle book syndrome. I’m really intrigued of what will happen in its closing book, especially with the tantalizing title of The King Will Kill You.
My Favorite Quotes:
Quotes are subject to change since I received an advance reader’s copy and not a final proof.
“ardenia is on a precipice and you, my darling daughter, are willing to toss it over the edge.”chapter 5
“my otsakumea, we have been waiting for you.”chapter 6
“we live only because we cannot be seen.”chapter 12
she rode onward–the second son of pyrenee would never learn to shut up.chapter 24
“princess, have you ever wanted something so much it filled you up, every crack and crevice within you, and when it finally happens and the want falls away, all that is left is ash?”
“yes,” amarande whispered.chapter 33
“three kings dead, two queens standing.”chapter 53
“tell amarande i’m sorry i didn’t stop him.”chapter 62
“no. you loved what he could do for you.”chapter 63
“of course i’ll stay. i’ll stay until the end of time. as long as you need me, i’m here. always, my queen.”epilogue
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About the Author:
Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.