Author: Graceley Knox
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Disclaimer: I was given a review copy of this book by in exchange for an honest review
The threat to Ever Leath has been imprisoned and gone for good, now she can focus on what really matters: getting rid of her goblin bodyguards and catching rouge Fae for the Magical Enforcement and Containment Agency. Unfortunately for her, fate has other plans.
With her mother still missing, Ever and her crew must solve the corruption and conspiracy that looms over the Light Elven Kingdom. As danger begins to lurk closer, and questions begin to pile high, Ever and her crew must find an ancient race long believed dead.
Crown Of Betrayal is the second book in the Wicked Kingdoms series by Graceley Knox. Admittedly, I was not a huge fan of the first book in this series, Mark Of Truth, but I felt that Crown Of Betrayal was a lot more engaging, and a lot more compelling. There were some new and interesting characters in this story. Although I like that Ever is gutsy and not afraid to get her hands dirty, I found that I preferred her much better in this story.
The story begins in the first person, told from the perspective of a prisoner thirsty for revenge and vengeance. Although it was not easy to guess who this person is, it was still easy to suss them out after just that chapter. As you begin to read, the narrative becomes predictable, the prophecy which involves Ever makes the story more predictable. There were times where I felt the sexual content overpowered the chapter, at least two or three pages were graphic descriptions of the extreme intimacy between Dare and Ever. To be frank with you, judging by the way the sexual content overshadows the action in a chapter, I felt this tries to become the purpose of the story.
Crown Of Betrayal contains some fast-paced action which I felt was slightly better than the action featured in Mark Of Truth. When it comes to scenes that involve a showdown between the protagonist and the antagonist you would expect a good fight to break out between the two, or an action packed more. Most of the scenes involving Ever and the villain is just Ever luring them and using their obsession with her, and getting them to talk. Getting the antagonist to spill the beans is fine, but Ever uses seduction and is objectified quite a bit in the story. Yes, Ever show’s her bravado and her courage, but when it comes down to the real action, she just seduces the protagonist and acts all helpless so they can talk, and someone else can take them down.
In Crown Of Betrayal, Graceley Knox introduces us to some new characters. Puck is an unidentifiable magical Fae who can take the form of any person and can enter rooms undetected. Puck is by far, my favourite character in this story. His personality and sense of humour make him all the more likeable. His mysterious identity is an added bonus as it makes him an intriguing character. Judging by the role he had taken in Crown Of Betrayal, I feel that he will have an important role in the third book in the series.
Despite this I feel there needs to be a natural flow in the action and in the dialogue. For example, I preferred the Goblin Queen’s interactions with an alliance she called ‘the trickster’ than the interactions between her and Ever. Ever’s treatment of the Queen is not a way she should be treating her especially in the presence of the King. The Kings treatment of the Queen in Ever’s presence was not a natural action. There is too much resentment, distrusting, and lack of affection between most of the character. The only real relationship and affection is between Ever and her crew, and of course in her relationship with Dare Fitzpatrick.
Dare’s possessiveness towards Ever and her safety is just as annoying as Cashel’s obsession with her. I disliked that he was dominating, slightly controlling and tried to tell Ever what she can and can’t do. Having said this, I liked that Ever put her foot down and rebelled against this. Clearly, Ever and Dare need to come to an understanding, or compromise. Judging by his controlling and possessive nature, I don’t feel Dare is good for Ever, especially at a time where she needs to fight and protect herself and everyone around her.
Overall, I felt Crown Of Betrayal was so much better than Mark Of Truth, the character developments, new characters, the story, and the action is so much better in Crown Of Betrayal. I look forward to read what happens next in the third book.