Review: The Heretic Royal by G.A. Aiken

Book Review

The Heretic Royal by G.A. Aiken
The Scarred Earth Saga #3
Fantasy, Romance

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In this riveting, feminist tale perfect for fans of Katee Robert and Nalini Singh, two sisters battle for a single throne, warring factions take up arms, a land is divided, and uncertain allies become very certain lovers. With subtle commentary on today’s political polarization, this riveting epic celebrates strong female characters and champions the underdog with diverse, expert world building.

Gods save the queen!

Ainsley Farmerson has always planned to break free of the family business—and the family drama. But what was once farming, smithworking, and bickering over the dinner table has turned into open warfare between sisters. Sides have been taken, lives are on the line, and Ainsley has no doubt which sister must be queen. She’ll do whatever is necessary to take down the soulless Beatrix. Even if that means joining forces with angry battle nuns, irritating monks, and overbearing centaurs.

Gruffyn of the Torn Moon Clan has no time for human beings. And yet . . . there is something about the uncontrollable princess that he can’t ignore. Maybe it’s the way her eldest sisters underestimate her. Or her bravery facing down dragons and mad queens from distant lands. Whatever the reason, Gruff is willing to fight by this human’s side. Not only for the entertainment value, but because she’s right. Beatrix must never be queen. So whatever he has to do, whoever he has to destroy, Gruff will battle beside Ainsley. Fast. Hard. And with absolutely no mercy . . . 

What I thought

Thank you, G.A. Aiken, Kensington Books, and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings expressed are my own.

This is the third book in The Scarred Earth Saga series.  I’m really not sure what it is specifically about this series that makes me so happy to read them.  I just think they are such fun reads.  I know that each book kind of sets up which sister each book will be about, but I was so happy to be right that we got a book about Ansley.  This book is definitely fantasy first with a romance subplot.  This is also an adult series, personally, I would not let anyone under 17 read it because some scenes are graphic. 

If you are looking for flowery prose, these books are not it.  These books are written like the characters, very to the point.  There is no guessing what the character might have meant.  I can see where some might think that the language is harsh, but I find it such a wonderful change.  

I love the banter between the sisters and no matter how they are acting towards each other at the time they really love one another and their actions are usually driven by the need to feel like they are protecting each other. More than once I found myself laughing out loud while reading this book. This series definitely keeps you engaged even when they are not fighting.

I really liked the addition of the new characters, especially Annwyl.  I have a feeling that Annwyl will have a larger part to play in the next installment.  Also, I am sure anyone who has read this book knows who the next book is going to focus on.

Even though this book is focused on Ansley, it felt very middle book, like it was just there to move things into place to set up future books.  This book also felt like it could have been longer, the ending kinda felt abrupt to me.

My Rating: /5

Have you read this book? If so what did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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