In this sequel to The Kinder Poison–which People magazine proclaimed a “delicious high-stakes adventure”–the magical kingdom of Orkena is on the brink of war, and the only person who can save it is Zahru, the girl they once doomed for death.
After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While crown prince Jet navigates the looming threat of war, she’s content to simply figure out what the future holds for them. But they’re dealt a devastating blow when prince Kasta returns with a shocking claim: he’s the true winner of the Crossing and the rightful heir, and he bears the gods’ mark as proof. Even more surprising–he’s not the only one.
Somehow, Zahru possesses the very same mark, giving her equal right to the throne. The last thing she wants is to rule beside her would-be executioner, but she can’t let Orkena fall into his merciless hands. So Zahru, Jet, and their allies must race against the clock to find a way to stop Kasta, because once he’s crowned, there’s no telling what horrors he’ll unleash to win the war.
Zahru will do whatever it takes to keep Kasta from taking the throne…but to stop a villain, is she willing to become one herself?
Disclaimer: I received a digital advance reader’s copy of The Cruelest Mercy for free. This does not affect or influence my review in any way, which is honest and spoiler-free. Huge thank you to Sam at Penguin Random House for sending me a copy!
Purchase: Blackwell’s (Affiliate Link) / BookBar Denver (signed and personalised copies)
If you’re outside the US or Canada, you can still order personalised copies of The Kinder Poison and The Cruelest Mercy! You’ll just have to email BookBar at email@example.com to place your order. ♥
EDIT: Please be aware this is a review for a second book in a series, and so it will contain spoilers for the first book. You can find my review of the first book, The Kinder Poison, here.
There are some books, I find, that simply demand to be talked about in full detail, spoilers aplenty. Unfortunately, The Cruelest Mercy seems to be one of them, and so writing this review is likely to be harder than I originally anticipated and may not convey just how much I loved it. I finished it in little over 24 hours though, so I really did love it. I might even do a spoiler-filled review/discussion post once it’s out, so that I can talk about everything in a way that I simply can’t here.
I had no idea what to expect going into The Cruelest Mercy, having very few theories prior to starting it, but was equally delighted and shocked with all the twists and turns. I had to be forced to put this book down – it was that good (though I’d hope given how much amazing The Kinder Poison was, that isn’t a surprise to anyone?)!
The Cruelest Mercy begins around a month after the end of The Kinder Poison: Jet has been crowned Dommel (Crown Prince), and after spending time apart, Zahru isn’t sure of their relationship status anymore. Sakira and her team are still missing, Kasta is presumed dead, and no one knows about Maia’s death (rest in peace, my fave. You were gone too soon). Things seem to be looking up for Zahru when Jet awards her a position on his advisory team, but quickly go south again when Kasta returns, gatecrashing Jet’s coronation, announcing he has Numet’s mark – the sign he’s the victor of the Crossing. As luck would have it, Zahru has this mark too, and the Mestrah proclaims the pair must rule together.
Continue reading “Review: The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae”