Title: A Vow So Bold and Deadly
Series: Cursebreakers #3
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retellings
Published: January 26th, 2021 (Bloomsbury)
Synopsis: Face your fears, fight the battle.
Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace.
Fight the battle, save the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But after enjoying decades of peace once magic was driven out of their lands, some of her subjects are angry Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. As Grey’s deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara questions if she can be the queen her country needs.
As two kingdoms come closer to conflict, loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces who could destroy them all, in this stunning conclusion to bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series.
With the revelation that Grey is the true heir, Emberfall is splitting into factions even as the end of Grey’s two month ultimatum draws closer. Meanwhile in Syhl Shallow, Lia Mara is now the queen, but after a reign so ruthless as Karis Luran’s, Lia Mara’s gentler approach is less than effective, particularly as the people are not pleased to see her with a magesmith by her side. But now that the enchantress Lilith is back, they all face a bigger challenge, and though Rhen and Grey stand on opposite sides of the brewing war, the only way to defeat her once and for all is to work together.
I was all kinds of nervous about picking up this book because of the complete letdown that was book 2, but too curious about how this story was going to end to pass it by. But before we get into Vow, I want to first talk about the ending of Heart that I couldn’t previously discuss in that review because of spoilers, and how that affected the direction this book went in. Bringing back Lilith was the easy way to bring this series to a conclusion and it should not have been done. Lilith’s reappearance as the driving force behind a majority of Rhen’s actions and erratic behaviour in book 2 sets this story on a very familiar path that is very hard to deviate from – and more importantly, turns the conflict back into a good-vs-evil scenario rather than the shades of grey that it could have been. I would have actually preferred for Rhen and Grey to work out their differences in another manner than what the ending of Heart essentially forced. Ok rant over, let’s talk about Vow.
Vow is narrated from four POVs which was both a good choice and a necessary one. We needed to hear their thoughts and struggles as they face and accept the hard decisions that have been made and will need to be made – both their own and that of the others. While both Emberfall and Syhl Shallow are in very uneasy situations internally, they are still preparing for war. We get to see more of Harper and Rhen this time and it was a nice reminder of why I liked these two characters initially. Grey’s arc in this book was excellent, and he has come a long way from the Grey we met in book one, a more confident person and leader now. Lia Mara’s a good character, and she is going through some interesting struggles now that she is queen, but I found it hard to care about her arc because most of the time, she didn’t really do anything. This book was fast-paced and the narration flowed well between POVs which made it a very easy read.
However, despite being around 400 pages, I do feel like not much really happened in the sense that it wasn’t a very complex plot. It pretty much went in the exact direction I expected it to, with Rhen’s choice at the end being the only real surprise. What was working up to be a very interesting conflict ended up being all about defeating Lilith which just magically fixed everything else. I guess I was still hoping for some shocking twist midway that would change the direction of the story, but no such luck.
I will say however, that A Vow So Bold and Deadly managed to hold my attention which I did not expect, and it is actually much better than what I anticipated given the previous book. The ending was quite open in my opinion, and it leaves many threads still unresolved for all our characters (potentially creating room for a spin-off maybe, but I’m not quite sure how I feel about that right now). Overall, this was a good conclusion to this series and I enjoyed it.
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: