Ｔｉｔｌｅ：War of the Wilted
Ｒａｔｉｎｇ：★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
＊Ｎｏｔｅ：I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review for Book 1.
Like flowers denied water, people are wilting under the emperor’s tyranny.
Rose will not rest until the Gardener is dead. But there are bigger battles to fight, and Rayce—leader of the rebellion and the only man Rose has ever loved—believes their best chance at winning the war is to join forces with her sworn enemy.
Saving innocent people is more important than her quest for revenge. But their new ally can’t be trusted—and he knows her darkest secret. One betrayal could leave the war and Rayce’s life hanging in the balance, and Rose will need to make the ultimate sacrifice to save them all.
✩ Rose was very stubborn and kind of selfish in this book. It was frustrating because I could see how wrong it all was and she still did the things she did.
✩ Rayce was very patient with Rose. I think he was very trusting and dedicated but maybe a bit blind to how severely things affected Rose.
❝ What do you do when your heart wants two different things and in order to achieve one, you must lose the other? ❞
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own!
After surviving so much in Garden of Thorns, Rose and Rayce are still just as far from their goals as before. For Rayce, it’s facing the question of whether or not he’ll be able to defeat his uncle the next time they face off. It’s not just a matter of skill, but heart–will he be strong enough to end the man who once meant so much to him? For Rose, it’s facing her past and trying to grow into the leader everyone expects her to be. Will she be brave enough to claim her title, or will her insecurities and thirst for revenge pull her and Rayce apart.
It was such fun being thrown back into Amber Mitchell’s world of Garden of Thorns. Although Rose was able to tear down the Garden, she is still haunted by the memories of it and presence of the Gardener in the rebel base. Rose knows she can’t trust the Gardener and they would be better off without him, but when she lets her opinions turn into actions that go against Rayce’s wishes they find themselves drifting apart. This was a major point of the story and sadly–for fans of romance–you won’t be seeing much of Rose and Rayce as a couple.
❝ Everything about the way our hands touch when Rayce takes a dish and the way he looks at me when he thinks I’m not paying attention feels orchestrated to destroy me.
We shall see which of these things burns me faster: the guilt or my secret. ❞
While I didn’t necessarily love that this pairing wasn’t moving forward romantically (seriously, love them <3) I think their differences and disagreements made them stronger in the end. It added some complexity to their relationship and challenged them personally. Both Rayce and Rose had to reevaluate what really mattered to them and it made them grow as characters.
And although it wasn’t really terrible, I found that the plot was a bit predictable. I think we all saw betrayal coming and expect things to blow up in some characters’ faces. It made me feel frustrated with some characters at times because I wanted to shout at them (“What are you doing?!” That’s a terrible idea!). You really wanted to expect better.
I also wanted to talk about the ending. Can I just say that all the “fight” scenes with the emperor end too fast? It seems like they’re never long enough and it ends up feeling anticlimactic. But aside from that I really enjoyed the ending. I loved the twist with the whole dynamic of the Garden coming back for Rose. I would’ve loved to see that situation go on longer, but I think it was a good twist either way.
Overall, I think this was a good sequel and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series goes!
War of the Wilted was released on October 1st, it’s a book that’s worth checking out!
Would you work with the enemy if it meant helping people you cared about?