I received this book via the author Rachel Higginson. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Throne of a Thousand Lies by Rachel Higginson
Series: Nine Kingdoms Trilogy #1
Published by Reckless Siren Publishing on 2022-09-20
Length: 302 pages
Reviewing eARC from the author Rachel Higginson
Reading Challenges: 2022 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge, 2022 New Release Challenge
An heir to the throne . . .
Tessana Allisand might have proven that she’s the oldest living daughter of the dead king of Elysia, and that she’s the rightful heir to the Seat of Power, but that doesn’t mean she gets to be queen . . . yet. Forced to wait until her twenty-first birthday, Tess is supposed to be learning how to navigate court life and all the ways she will one day rule the realm. But circumstances and her nefarious uncle keep getting in the way of her education.
A kingdom in turmoil . . .
While Tess is pampered with the luxuries of castle life, the rest of the kingdom suffers under the oppressive thumb of the Ring of Shadows. And while no other ruler seems all that concerned with the evil rebels intent on destroying everyone and everything, Tess alone must find a way to stand up to the dark magic threatening to choke the life from her precious kingdom.
A love shaken by distance . . .
Tessana and Taelon found each other in the depths of the Blood Woods. And just like when they were children, their affection for each other saved the realm. But now, with separate kingdoms to fight for and royal duties to attend to, life is pushing them in impossibly opposite directions. Tess wants nothing more than for Taelon to be at her side. And yet, she will never ask him to leave his own kingdom for hers. Fate seems determined to keep them apart. But it was love that brought them back together. And love that will defy titles, crowns, and destiny.
Throne of a Thousand Lies by Rachel Higginson is the second book in the Nine Kingdoms Trilogy about a young princess destined to rule. Picking up just a few weeks after the events of book one, Tess is settling in to her new rule as the crowned princess. While she isn’t happy that she will not be queen yet, she also understands the council’s decision. However, danger lurks around every corner. Tess doesn’t know who to trust, and her family’s killer remains at large. With assassination attempts happening daily, Tess needs to find the person responsible before her own life is forfeit.
Please note that if you have not read book one, there may be minor spoilers to it in this review.
I adore Tess. She is such a fun character to follow. She’s cunning and brave, however also a bit naive. Learning that she arrived just in time before a new line could be named as heir to the kingdom and a new crown made, Tess finds herself in a precarious position. She’s ruler but not. Her heart belongs to someone that she can never be with. And her baby sister is alive and whole and on her way to the kingdom. Tess is doing her best, yet also being held at arm’s length by her uncle who has been ruling the kingdom since her family was killed. She feels lost in a world that used to be her own, but also falls back into routines easily. I admire how she meets each challenge, even with the pressure her uncle is placing on her to marry.
Taelon, our Rebel King and Tess’s former betrothed, is noticeably absent from this book. We have a few quick scenes with him and Tess, and then it is mostly her pining for him. I’ll admit I struggled with this a bit, mainly because I knew what it meant….a new love interest has entered the ring: a second son from a brutal kingdom. He grew on me 😉
My favorite part of this entire book though was Tess’s relationship with her sister. I loved seeing them come back together and how Tess navigates it. Her sister was young and raised in a loving, albeit cold, kingdom. Would she want to return to her home? Would she resent Tess for not looking for her? As much as Taelon and Oliver (*sigh*) were absent this book, the sister made up for it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this installment of the Nine Kingdoms Trilogy. I adore Tess and her sister. The villain finally reveals themselves, and there are a few good battle scenes to spice up the action. While I won’t deny that I was miffed at not seeing Taelon as much AND the introduction of a possible love triangle, I still enjoyed it. Fans of fantasy need to put this at the top of their to read list.