Book Review: The Ever Cruel Kingdom

Rin Chupeco is fantastic. Like, this second book of The Never Tilting World duology is wonderful – the heartbreak, the characters, the fact there’s not one complex mother-daughter relationship but two. I always worry that endings will not be satisfying especially after a great first book but this one knocks it out of the park and more.

This review will contain spoilers for The Never Tilting World so I’d advise you go away now and pick up the first book!

Star rating: 5 stars

So, at the end of book one Odessa and Haidee finally learn of each other’s existence – and meet for the first time, enabling the world to turn again. But all is not quite right with the world, as the demons of the cruel kingdom keep escaping.

The character development continues as Odessa learns to deal with what the galla took away from her in exchange for her gifts, as Haidee returns to the deserts around the Sun City, this time bringing her sister. Lan is still recovering from the horrors that happened to her before the first book. Arjun has brought Haidee home with him, and has to deal with the fallout when darkness returns to the desert for the first time since The Breaking.

Another set of twins unite, Asteria and Latona also learn that the other twin lived. The relationship between Asteria, Latona, Haidee and Odessa is explored in much more detail as the mothers become and even larger part of the story.

Romance is still present between our leading couples and I really appreciated the lack of drama that came with it. Sexuality is treated so well in this book – there’s even an asexual character and nobody questions how she feels (though it is only mentioned briefly).

I can’t say much, but what I can say is that the ending is fantastic and carries with it all of that Rin Chupeco bitter-sweetness. It is both heart-breaking and satisfying, and in my opinion is a perfect conclusion to a story that really did pull at my heartstrings.

Overall, a more than solid final book – Rin Chupeco does it again!

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