ARC Review: Monarch

Monarch by A.R. Ivanovich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release date: January 5, 2016 (republished)

Rune Thayer’s rebellion in Cape Hill has placed all of Breakwater in danger from the ruthless and mercurial Prince Raserion. Now, Katelyn Kestrel and her best friend, Kyle, must do something that no one in the Western Kingdom has ever attempted: travel North to request aid from Prince Varion, the mysterious monarch who’s been locked in a bloody war with his brother for centuries.

But as Katelyn sets sail for enemy territory, she’s confronted by Prince Raserion. He knows what she’s planning to do and offers her a deal: his brother’s life for Rune’s. She suddenly has an impossible choice to make. Risk everything in the hopes that Varion might help, or turn traitor to her own cause and trust Raserion to free the soldier she loves . . .

Katelyn and her squad continue their adventure to secure the safety of Haven, this time by approaching their enemy’s enemy, for aid. As ambassadors of peace, they aren’t in any direct danger, but when Katelyn is carried into the shadow world and forced into a deal with the Western Prince, she is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Both the kingdoms sound awful, and neither Prince seems to be better than the other. Learning the history of the founding of Lastland doesn’t help matters, because it complicates her decision further. Leaving her decision to her instincts, the squad arrives at the capital of the Northern Kingdom, only to get a huge surprise and we get a twist in the story.

While this book was not as action-filled as the former, it does work better when it came to plot and building the characters and the world. Rune is still a bit annoying with his self-deprecation and I feel most of Katelyn’s relationship with him is based on how much she pities she childhood. But I was also interested to see that he was at least trying to find himself in this book. Alas, towards the end he becomes a plot device which doesn’t really endear me to the circumstances on which the next book would be based. As for Dylan, he is a complex character – I thought him to be ruthless and while he has an ambiguous moral compass, he is devoted to his city and his brother. Kyle’s transformation was intriguing, and it actually hurt to see their friendship failing a bit. Things happened quite fast from there, and lots of things fell in place, cementing some theories about Haven. The book was entertaining, to be brief and sparkled with good writing and brilliant storytelling.

Received a free galley from Alloy Entertainment via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinions or the review.

Previous books in series

Haven  Paperglass

View all my reviews

One thought on “ARC Review: Monarch

  1. Pingback: ARC Review: Lastland | YA on my Mind

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