ARC Review: Cruel Illusions

Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐- 3.5 to 4

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for this eARC. All thoughts in this review are unbiased, and completely my own.

Release date: November 1, 2022

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My Love/Hate Relationship With The Cruel Prince (Warning: Spoilers)

Hello again! I’m writing this because I woke up today and was in the mood to be controversial! Which is a very common thing that happens to everyone, actually. Anyway, I did end up really enjoying this series, and while I loved most of the characters individually not you locke, you don’t even get your name capitalized. also taryn. don’t love you. you’re kind of the worst. not as bad as valerian though. I didn’t end up loving Jude and Cardan together at first, but eventually came to terms with them. A common reason I see people disliking this book and this series is because they don’t like the romance aspect. That’s fair, I get it, and in the first book I could completely see where they were coming from. But the trilogy is a lot more than the romance, and it’s filled with a wonderful morally gray main character (love this) and political drama!! Which is the best thing ever and I cannot be convinced otherwise. So essentially, I’ll be spending this post arguing with myself! Okay so I didn’t exactly think this through… let’s start anyway!

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Why I love Forest Of a Thousand Lanterns, and why I hate the sequel

In Forest Of a Thousand Lanterns, the main character was complex. The influence of her setting was wonderfully portrayed in how she acted, the decisions she made, and what her goals and her priorities were. This made her an interesting and engaging character to read from the perspective of. The effect of the people who influenced her were clear, with Wei and Guma both weighing in on her personality. Guma taught her to treasure her beauty, that it was the most important thing she had. This was further reinforced by the society she was in, and what a woman in that time period needed to survive, to thrive in that environment. Wei tried to take her on a different path, a path that would’ve led her character to ending up more similar to Jade, the protagonist of the second book. But she knew she was destined for more, and she fought for power above all else.

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