The Black Key

the-black-keyAuthor: Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City #3
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

I am not a mere surrogate, bought and leashed and paraded around anymore.  In the end, the royalty will know that.  And they will fear me.

This final installment in The Lone City trilogy is not going to pull any new fans in.  It should, however, please the fans of the series thus far.  Violet is on a mission – to break apart the ruling cast and to save her sister.  Easy, right?  Good thing she’s a Paladin (which is referenced many, many, many times.  Violet is very proud of this fact.  It makes her important).  With her special Paladin powers she is able to disguise herself to go back into the Jewel to save her sister, who has been taken by the Duchess to replace Violet as the surrogate once Violet escaped.

The best thing I can say about this novel is that it focuses on the world and the story building of the dystopian instead of the mushy gushy romance between Violet and Ash.  Major bonus and probably the only reason I finished it.  There’s nothing wrong with the story, but it feels flat.  Bland.  Even the action sequences (there are a couple) feel structured and written to a script.  Everything is rigid, nothing fluid.  There isn’t a whole lot of emotion or life in these characters this time around.  Everything focuses on bringing down the royals.  Which would have been okay if it had been nonstop action through and through.  But The Black Key drags in places, and it just isn’t enough to hold my attention the entire way through without skim reading in parts.

The most ironic part is that Violet builds herself up as this unstoppable force to be reckoned with and feared through her narrative the entire novel to a nauseating level, but in the end she is kind of a bystander at the climax.  She participates to be sure, but when push comes to shove… well, you’ll understand when/if you read it.  Okay series for a once read, but won’t be picking it up again.


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