Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Review: Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

Title: Endless Knight
Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 1st October 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: In the second book of the Arcana Chronicles Evie has now fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress. And Jackson was there to see it all. In the aftermath of killing Arthur, the tarot Alchemist, Evie realizes that a war is brewing between the other teens that, following the apocalypse, have been given powers and its kill or be killed. Things get even more complicated when Evie meets Death, the mysterious, sexy Endless Knight. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history - one that Evie can't remember, but Death can't forget. She is drawn to the Endless Knight, but is in love with Jack. Determined to discover why she's been granted these powers, Evie struggles to accept her place in a prophecy that will either save the world, or completely destroy it

Endless Knight is a seductive tale that fully captures your imagination and embraces the darker side of human nature. With dubious characters, sizzling romance and a peculiar post-apocalytpic setting this haunting story is about the murderous game between the Arcana. Poison Princess was a standout book last year and Endless Knight defiantly lives up to its predecessor. The past is repeating itself but the players are slightly altered. Murder, death and survival are on the cards and drive the story towards its massive cliff-hanger.  If that was not enough to contend with, there are also numerous Bagmen and Cannibals to battle with. The characters are not who they seem. Secrets are unravelled and alliances are changed. Nothings black and white anymore. Instead it’s just a big ominous shade of grey. If Poison Princess was about Evie learning about her powers than Endless Knight is about Evie learning about her past and how to play the game. The twists keep coming, the romance is even hotter and nothing is as it seems. 

I am in awe of Kersley Cole’s storytelling. Her writing is haunting, witty and engrossing. The story fits together seamlessly and is intricately detailed. Poison princess started with a bang but Endless Knight has a slow start.  Picking up right after Evie’s battle with the Alchemist, Endless Knight takes a while to get into, but once you do, the story hits the ground running. I love the pace of this book, there is always a revelation or action around every corner. Cole makes sure that there is never a dull moment. Evie is now playing the game and to survive she needs to kill Death, make alliances, escape the cannibals and most importantly she needs to stay alive. Revelations lurk behind every corner and Matthews’s cryptic statements get pretty gloomy.  What I love about this story is there is actually a war in which the players are ruthless and cunning. Its not just a bunch of teenagers playacting at warfare, they are all out for blood and murder is prevalent.   Alliances are made, strategy is formed, hostages are taken and everything is turned on its head all in a hostile landscape littered with threats at every turn.

Like the title suggests, Endless Knight is about Death and his very complicated relationship with Evie. We’ve seen him as the ruthless winner of the game for centuries past. The player that everyone fears.  The one Evie’s sworn to kill.  This time around, Death is not who we expect him to be and is the biggest revelation in the book. We get to learn a great deal about him and no it’s not just all about his handsome looks. Cole sands down his edges and makes him relatable.  This book introduces a love triangle and Cole deftly explores the line between love and hate and how complicated relationships can be.  The triangle is compelling because the change and confusion in Evie’s feelings develop over time and it all makes sense given the revelations. I want to know she picks. Without giving anything away, lets just say that Death is a prominent point in this love triangle.

Jackson plays a smaller role in this book as Death takes a front seat. He bugged me a bit more in this book than the last one. It takes a while for him to accept Evie’s powers but he always protects her.  We also get to learn some of his secrets. In fact we learn something about all the major players that turns this game on its head. Jackson, Death, Evie and Matthew all have secret. When these secrets come to light, you will look at all of these characters in a different way. Evie’s becoming more like the Empresses of the past. I love that you can see shades of the past Empresses in Evie, but she still remains herself and is not a carbon copy of the ones in the past. She becomes more of a leader and is determined to take Death out.  She embraces her role as the Empress and comes to terms with what she had to do to win the battles she enters. She is ruthless and uncompromising. She has a lot to deal with and everyone’s secrets are a hard burden for her to bear.

What Cole does very well is character development. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses. No character is morally black or white. They’re all in the grey and no one person is right.  They all struggle with the choices they need to make and who they are becoming, especially Evie. Evie has decisions to make. Decisions that could change the nature of the game. Along with Death we get to meet new Arcana cards. Lark was my favourite new character. Her connection with animal was very fascinating. Such a cool power to have. This book provides plenty of information about the game and what each card is capable of. Finn continues to be entertaining with his trickster nature. Matthew and his crypticness are back, and boy does that kid have a talent for twisting everything around.

A twisty turny post -apocalyptic story about the Arcana. A great sequel with a really cruel cliff-hanger. I can’t wait to see where this story goes next. 

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