Publication Date: December 17th 2013
POV: Female - First-person, Present tense
My Rating: 4 out of 5
To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.
When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father’s capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.
Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.
When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart’s twisted world, Zara’s path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara’s hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father’s evil nature, or they will take him out.
But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels’ command and where the prince’s heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she’s truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.
This book really grabbed me by the heart and would not let me go. Although I have one major issue with it which is the cause of the 4 stars, and I will get to that later. I was tempted to even move it down to a 3 because it was kind of a major issue. But I really enjoyed the story so I couldn't do it.
First of all, the story was totally captivating and I just could not put this book down. I read way past my bedtime. For the first part of the book it was fascinating but in a subdued sort of way. I thought it would be about Zara coming to terms with her position as Queen and using her influence over Sebastian to try to make a better kingdom--while also loving someone else. But then the rebels were introduced to the story and it became so much more complex. There was so much more going on than I gathered from reading Unveiled.
When I first saw the cover for this book I really liked the appearance of the characters. Zara was gorgeous but there was something about her that still looked strong. But I didn't even know the half of it. Zara was amazing, and so was Devlan. The cover made him look strong but kind, and he was. He was so protective of Zara and it made me like him instantly, before I really knew anything else about his character. They had so much chemistry that I felt like they couldn't even be in the same room with Sebastian or he would be able to see it simmering between them. Their romance moved faster than I first anticipated, which I am very glad for. I wasn't sure at first what the romance level would be in this.
Now my problem with this book was Sebastian. And the problem was that I liked him. He was a tormented character from the beginning but I never bought him as a villain. Not that I was 'Team Sebastian' or anything, but I saw the goodness in him that Zara seemed to see in the beginning. I felt sorry for him whenever she rejected him. He was an ass to her sometimes, especially when he hurt her, and I don't agree with some of his actions, but I certainly do not think that Zara's actions were justified either. She treated him worse than he deserved. And when she lost faith in him in the end, she jump to the extremes about him being worse than his father. I really thought she was getting through to him when she told him all her secrets. I could see him beginning to open his eyes. But then it was ruined and I think he started to act a little out of character. Its hard to believe he would do some of the awful things he did in the end, without really understanding where it came from. We never met King Hart and we never saw Sebastian interact with him so its hard to believe that that darkness had been seeded in him by his father. We never saw where it came from, we were just told "he's Hart's son" and are supposed to know that that is enough to make him evil. And Zara's actions in the end make me incredibly sad. Its hard to accept what she and the rebels did. But if I had seen Sebastian as a true villain, as I get the impression I was supposed to, then I assume none of it would have bothered me. So it doesn't ruin my feelings for the other characters. I can see what Trisha Wolfe intend, the book just didn't bring me there like it was supposed to. But overall I don't like how his character was handled. He was either portrayed too kind in the beginning, or not evil enough in the end. It all just left a sour taste in my mouth.
Besides that I loved how things turned out in the end. I really enjoyed seeing Fallon and Xander and the roles they played in this story. It was a huge HEA all around and I especially enjoyed the epilogue. Zara and Devlan seemed to be in a perfect place for them. I am not sure where the story can go from here, but I am excited to find out.