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Monday, 21 November 2016
Review: Poisoned Blade
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher.
Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives—the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons in her embattled kingdom. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes's only option, as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the chance to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on Jes's traveling party puts her at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos—the prince she still loves—is fighting against their country's enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal's life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion...She must become a warrior.
I really liked Court of Fives, it was original and intriguing, but this sequel...it didn't do it for me. I'm still intrigued to see how it's all going to end after the ending of this book, but for this book...I don't know what it was. It was a combination of things, I guess, but for most of this book I wasn't enjoying it and characters where irritating me, and then towards the end for the last part of the book...that was the only part I was like okay this is cool....but then it ended. Like I said, I'm intrigued to see how it all ends but I'm not entirely sure about the next book in general based on this.
Poisoned Blade picks up right where Court of Fives ends, and I was loving it...until I found my attention wandering and I started to skim passages. Mostly descriptions of Jes running the Fives, and some of the fight scenes, and some other scenes, I just had to skim read. I can't decide if I wasn't in the mood, or what, but I just wasn't feeling it there not too far in to the book. Don't get me wrong, there where some good plot twists, but I feel like there was so much thrown in to this book that it was hard to keep track of things at points, I mean...the book was fast paced, which is usually a good thing but I felt like there where parts that could have been expanded on, and other parts that shouldn't have been. There where so many plot lines, this could have been a couple of books, rather than just the one and it might have worked better. I feel like there's too much that's been tried to be crammed in to this book so it's a lot of different plot points that aren't expanded on enough.
Jes bugged me a lot this book, like you know when a character is doing something stupid, that will screw everything for them but they do it anyway? That's Jes. It took me a bit to warm up to her in the first book, but then I started rooting for her so hard, I didn't have that in this book. I wasn't rooting for her as much as I was in the first book. I felt like she kept making stupid choices, and blundering about, and it was all so high stakes but Jes always came out alright no matter how stupid she was. It's kind of hard to see how she gets everyone to go along with all her plans when she keeps making idiotic choices to be honest. She just annoyed me, because it was so ridiculous. No matter how dangerous the situation, or how many times she should have died by rights...she always managed to survive and that and her "cunning" plans are so at odds with all the stupid decisions she makes and said blundering about. She keeps going on about keeping her mother safe but endangers her a load of times and I started to roll my eyes a little bit every time she made the stupid choices.
On the plus. I liked Amaya a lot more this book. Sure she was still a selfish idiot at points, but I really came to like her in this book, you could see how good she was at blending in and gathering information. She had uses and skills to an extent, I actually really liked the camaraderie she and Jes had going on. I wanted to see more of Bett and I sincerely regret that now. I actually disliked her more than I ever disliked Amaya in the first book. She was so condescending to her sisters and all up on her high horse. She was a total cow and I can't even with her plot twist. I didn't see that one coming at all and it definitely grabbed my attention.
Temnos was potentially very interesting and I thought he was being set up for something but then that was cut short and I feel like that could have turned out better. I kinda think he was only killed to try to get you to gasp and be all "Oh no" and to add some blood and brutality to the end situation. Kal is kind of a douche but then he gets is balls back and punches someone in the face and it's awesome, I've liked his character development in this book. My opinion of him changed so much over the previous book and I was glad to see him develop some more and come in to his own. Menoe still bugs me too and unfortunately it looks like she'll be lurking around being irritating more in the next book.
OH and I'm 99% sure we're being set up with a love triangle between Jes, Kal and Ro. I'm so not here for that, I don't get the whole Ro/Jes thing and then Amaya made that comment and I stared at the page for ages like...really? Did I miss that or? Because they're not together all that much and it seemed kind of random. If a love triangle is done well, then fair play. But this is kind of shoved in to book two, and I'm not sure how many books we're getting but having a love triangle shoved in to the third book is just like...no thank you. All the best love triangles I've come across have been present from the beginning, and it's been so hard to pick a team because you love both pairings. That's not present in this book, like I said, I've hardly seen Ro and Jes interact and the whole thing just seemed so random to me.
On the plus, another good thing about the book is that we got to see more of the world of the book, more of the politics, and more of the links between the past and the present and the Fives which intrigued me in the first book as there where many hints that there was more to it than it seemed!
Overall, this book frustrated me so much. Don't get me wrong, books are supposed to make you feel things but I don't like reading a book and being this level of frustrated with a protag. It made it hard to enjoy the book, and a lot of it didn't interest me at all. There's so much thrown in to this book as well as a possible love triangle that I don't feel is necessary, and it just wasn't as enjoyable for me as the first book. After the exciting ending to the book, I am intrigued to see what happens in the end, but I'm not as excited for the third book after reading this.