Spoilers ahead for the first two books!
A kingdom, or this.
Holy hell. I was not ready for this series to end. What I wouldn’t give for a fourth book, even if it was just full of domestic fluff and precious, tender little moments. I would pay good money for a limitless supply of Laurent’s wicked snark and Damen’s kindness. When I began this series, I never could have guessed that it would mean so much to me. I expected a fun, dramatic romance, but I got so much more. I got politics, betrayal, war, and one of the most phenomenal slow burns I’ve ever seen in my life. C. S. Pacat has fully perfected the enemies-to-lovers trope, and I’m not sure that I’ll ever see it done better than it was in these books.
There was a warmth in his chest whenever he looked at Laurent. He didn’t look often for that reason.
In the beginning of the book, we watch Damen and Laurent forced into yet another stand-off, and the distance is so incredibly bittersweet. My heart ached so many times in such a short span of this story, because the longing that Damen feels is described in breathtaking detail. Pacat’s capability for writing angst and turmoil shone in this final installment, but along with it, came her incredible knack for writing tenderness and care. I found myself wanting to tab entire pages, just so I could easily come back and reread them whenever I need a pick-me-up. ❤️
“I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly.”
Out of everything in this series, though, nothing took me off guard as much as the way I would grow to cherish sweet, vicious little Laurent. He is a twisted, conniving, brilliant young man, but his cleverness is unmatched and his kindnesses are so subtle and hidden that they mean all the more for it. I distinctly remember saying, while reading the first book, that I couldn’t fathom ever appreciating his character, and I was so wrong. Laurent is one of the best examples of three-dimensional writing I have ever seen, and he and Damen alike will always hold a special place in my heart for how real they feel.