Hello, Lauren here. OK. I’m going to try and be nice.
You know when you have a wobbly table? Well, I’m sure A Vow so Bold and Deadly would be an excellent book to shove under the shorter leg. Highly useful book, this one, several extremely practical uses for it. Fire kindling, chip wrapping, bog…
In terms of actually being a good story, it just wasn’t that brilliant, not the best, could’ve been better, oh my gaaaad it was boring. Sorry.
You know that really cool girl, Lia Mara, who snuck off to find Prince Rhen in book two, got captured, escaped, and journeyed back to Syhl Shallow? Well, forget her – she doesn’t exist anymore. Enter Lia Snooze Fest (her replacement), here to bore you to tears with her whining and dreams of world peace. Oh, you thought she was going to actually do some cool stuff now she is Queen? Don’t be silly.
It’s OK, though, I hear you think – at least there is Grey, world’s sexiest man and all-round righteous dude, right? Wrong. Say hello, please, to Grey the Robot. Did somebody order a personality transplant?
Oh, oh, oh, but wait! What about lisak? Surely we’ll finally get to learn about his back story and go and find his son? Erm… haven’t you been paying attention?
EURGH. Book two was so great! What happened?
Willow here. Well, we both struggled with this book. After such a promising start – from posting pictures on social meda of myself spewing love hearts at book one – it’s gone from downhill to rock bottom.
Positives: Harper is back! Hallelujah! She makes decisions. She talks to people. She acts. This book finally convinced me that the pairing of Rhen/Harper isn’t so bad after all. The YA genre is good at writing break-ups and short-term romances, but it’s interesting – healthy even – to see people work through big arguments.
Throughout this book, Rhen and Harper are frequently establishing their moral boundaries and discussing what’s important to each other – with the understanding that if they can’t work at it, then they can’t work at all. So, they both work at it. Mostly. They try really hard anyway, and that’s what matters.
It was very endearing – at least I thought so – and it rescued some of the book for me. Spoiler warning: I particularly enjoyed Lilith’s massacre of the castle. Predictably, everyone we like was somehow kept alive, but it was a very dramatic chapter and shifted the current drag of events.
Negatives: LIA MARA IS SO BORING OMG. If you’d like to read an example of why passive characters are bad, then please get yourself A Vow so Bold and Deadly. Coincidentally, I’m selling it, if you’re interested.**
Perhaps the author’s intention is to show that you don’t have to be fierce and bold (the complete oposite of the title) to be a strong female character. And it’s not that I disagree entirely. But Jesus wept, do something. She could talk people to sleep, or bore them into submission by standing inert and simpering with indecision. It wasn’t relatable. It was dull. And there was way too much of it. If I hadn’t flicked ahead and seen Harper’s name as chapter titles, I would have closed the book and moved on with my life.
Grey is a constant flip-flop of personalities. From his POV, he’s a soft, sappy, care-bear of a darling. From other people’s POV he is a scary, emotionless, soldier of steel. These traits are kind of jarring to flip between. He’s pretty interesting from other people’s perspective, but from his own he turns into Lia Mara 2. Rubbish.
I was equally as annoyed as Lauren about the poof of smoke that is Iisak. Not only is his plot potential never explored but his physical description does a 360 backflip. In book two, he is described as a gargoyle-type creature kept in a cage. Suddenly, towards the end of book three, he’s described as a sexy demon man and I am very confused and Not Here For This Kind of Inconsistent Bullshit.
So, basically, neither of us can fathom what “vow” got made that was “so bold and deadly”. We’re both terribly disappointed at the conclusion of this trilogy, and if more story is milked out of Iisak’s (sexy?) son, I’m afraid I won’t be picking up that book.
Finally, if only because I don’t want to write a gosh darn essay: if Grey didn’t want to be king so badly, why didn’t he just abdicate the position to Rhen????
Onto the next book! Eve of Man by Giovanna & Tom Fletcher…