The Rising Wave (#0.5), The Turncoat King (#1), The Threadbare Queen (#2)
by Michelle Diener
A princess intent on escape . . .
Ava has everything ready for her last chance at escape from her years’ long imprisonment. She knows if she doesn’t succeed this time, she will die. When an injured warlord is thrown into her cell with her, upsetting her plans, she faces a dilemma . . . leave him to die or try to take him with her.
A warlord intent on rebellion . . .
Luc may lead a rebel army, but now he’s at the mercy of his enemies, and they have no mercy to give. All except the woman imprisoned with him. She not only has mercy, she has a plan to escape. He just has to convince her to let him come along . . .
A partnership forged in adversity . . .
Unable to leave him behind, Ava includes Luc in her plans, but escaping the castle where her cousin has imprisoned her is only the first step. Hunted by their enemies, she and Luc will have to trust each other, no matter how many secrets they’re keeping.
Well this totally and utterly ensnared me, I shall be immediately jumping into The Turncoat King, book #1 of the series.
For such a quick read the author packed in world-building, character development and plot, plot and more plot. I totally fell in love with Ava and Luc and cannot wait to rejoin the adventure and find out what happens next!
Having loved the introductory novella The Rising Wave I had quite high expectations for The Turncoat King and on the whole I wasn’t too disappointed. The story held my attention from start to finish, the pace was excellent and the prose flowed smoothly. What did let it down was how very easily the conflict was resolved at the end, particularly the fact that three men held off a whole city full of people and guards. I also wondered why the author kept making a big thing of Ava’s secrets as no one seemed too bothered by the truth when it was revealed.
Almost too perfect for words, Ava and Luc both still managed to make me adore them and were a big part of what drew me into the story. They are decent people with strong morals and steely determination. I found them immensely likeable, particularly enjoying the scenes where they were together. Neither experience too much in the way of adversity during the timeline of the story, so whilst both were well-rounded there wasn’t much evidence of character growth or learning. The fade-to-black sex scenes didn’t bother me, though the very instant-love nature of their relationship did take rather a suspension of disbelief.
Sara’s review here (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…) hit’s the nail on the head when she says “When the book was good, was in the midst of a scene. I was easily captivated by what was occurring in the story. The author excels at pulling me into the moment and holding my eyes wide open. It’s when I step back and think on the logic of things that this story doesn’t feel as well written.”
Despite all that I still really enjoyed this book. As I was reading I didn’t want to put it down, it fully held my attention. As such I do recommend it and also fully intend to continue with the series.
The Rising Wave pretty much picks up from where The Turncoat King ends. That, along with The Rising Wave, must be read before this book for the story to be fully understood.
Whilst this isn’t quite as gritty, tough or imperfect as my preferences run to, there is something rather captivating and engaging about the author’s voice. Within a few pages I found myself caught up in the story and, unlike other books I’ve read recently, it readily held my attention from start to finish. I very much like Ava and Luc, yes I would rather they not be quite so perfect, but they are still great characters who are easy to understand and get behind.
After the far too easy resolution last time, I did feel as though the author had attempted to make life a little tougher for our protagonists in this book. However, I get the impression that she is far too nice a person to go down that route of killing off a side character or two. This means the books are fairly low angst, but sometimes that is what this reader wants. And with such excellent prose, I find this a very enjoyable and engaging series. I for one can’t wait to read the next book and am happy to recommend this series to others. It’s particularly good for those who hate cliffhangers as each book has its own complete story arc.
A thirst for revenge . . . Ava is committed to vengeance against the man responsible for the death of her parents. The same man, the Queen’s Herald, kept her prisoner for two years, until she escaped with Luc, a warlord bent on vengeance just as fierce as her own. He’s forged a powerful army of people from all through the region, called the Rising Wave, to march on the Kassian royal family and smash its corrupt power under the weight of their anger. But for Luc, just as for Ava, his true motive is a lot more personal.
A hidden magic . . . Luc suspects Ava has magical abilities, suspects he’s benefited greatly from them, but he’s no stranger to the burdens of power, and he’s prepared to let her tell him in her own time-after all, she’s his heart’s choice and he will give her all the time she needs. Except time is running out for both of them. As they near the Kassian stronghold, forces from within their own camp and without will use every trick they have to stop both Luc and Ava and tear them apart.
A secret laid bare . . . Luc knows Ava has a secret she’s keeping from him-but what he doesn’t realize is she has many. And when those secrets are exposed, everyone will have to grapple with the consequences. Ava is prepared to sacrifice her happiness and even her life to save the Rising Wave and Luc-but she would prefer to use her heart and her head to outwit her enemies instead.
A conqueror’s victory is never assured . . .
The Rising Wave may have taken control of Kassia, but hot on the heels of their victory, Luc receives word from one of his spies that the Jatan, emboldened by the Kassian army’s withdrawal, have crossed the border. More worryingly, they haven’t just moved into northern Kassia, but also east to Luc’s home region of Cervantes, and with all the Cervantes warriors with Luc in Kassia’s capital, Fernwell, cementing their hold on power, his home is vulnerable and defenceless. Luc has no choice but to leave securing Fernwell to Ava, gather forces, and head north, to try to push the Jatan back to their side of the mountains.
A queen’s safety is never a given . . .
Finally, after months of trying, a minion of the Speaker of Grimwalt’s court manages to snatch Ava from under the noses of her friends and allies, off the streets of Fernwell and onto the back roads to Grimwalt. Ava has to struggle against an insidious assault on her vitality and magic, fighting a power that isn’t just strong, but malevolent.
And nothing is set in stone . . .
As Ava tries to escape her captors and Luc races to defend his homeland, they draw closer and closer to each other, until finally their paths cross, as they always seem to do. As they once again face their enemies together, they will have to use all their strength to salvage the victory they’ve worked so hard to accomplish.