Review: The Court of Mortals by A.J. Lancaster

The Court of Mortals by A.J. Lancaster

Timy reviews The Court of Mortals, the third book in A.J. Lancaster‘s Romantic Fantasy series, Stariel.

Reviews of previous books in the series: The Lord of Stariel, The Prince of Secrets

About the Book
Series: Stariel #3Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Date of Publishing: January 18, 2020Trigger Warnings: blood, non-graphic sex
Page count: 410Publisher: Camberion Press
Possible The Sound of Madness Reading Challenge prompts:
  • Free Your Mind
  • Are You Gonna Be My Girl
  • Justice
  • Bulletproof Skin
  • I’m Still Here
  • Mindenütt jó (Anywhere is good)
  • Have a Little Faith
  • Family Portrait
  • Vészhelyzet (Emergency)
  • I’ll Be There
  • Heavy is the Crown
Book Blurb
The Court of Mortals by A.J. Lancaster

Marrying your fae prince shouldn’t be this hard.

Hetta’s family now know Wyn’s true identity, but that doesn’t mean they approve of their relationship. Princes are all very well – but Wyn’s not human, for all he’s spent ten years pretending to be.

With gossip spreading like wildfire, Hetta and Wyn receive a royal summons. The Queen of Prydein has heard the rumours of fae intruders, and she’s not letting Wyn go until she’s satisfied he and his people aren’t a threat. Convincing her would be a lot easier if someone wasn’t trying to blacken Wyn’s name – and if his sister wasn’t trying to kill him.

For mortal politics aren’t the only problem the pair have to face. The Court of Ten Thousand Spires is still without a ruler, and the only way out may be for Wyn to assume the throne himself – meaning he and Hetta can never be together.

The Court of Mortals is book 3 of the Stariel Quartet.

Song of the Book

I’m sticking with Jess Glynne for the series, and I think I’ll keep my favorite song from her for the last book. Hopefully, it’ll fit. Anyway. This time I’m picking You Can Find Me, because, well, because I think it fits a certain plot in this book.

Review

I’m on a Stariel series binge because I just love it so much. By book 3, these characters totally grew on me, and I can’t wait to jump on book 4 when time allows me to. Since The Court of Mortals is the third book in the series, this review might contain spoilers for the previous books, so I warn you to read on with caution.

There is no rest for the wicked or the ones in love, in this case. Hetta and Wyn barely had time to process what happened in Thousand Spire, when new complications arise. Words about Wyn’s identity reach far and wide in the country, and they not only have to win the favor of the Northern lords if Hetta wants to be admitted by them, but they also have to answer the Queen’s summon. And on top of it, Wyn and Hetta face decisions that might end their relationship before it could really bloom.

The Court of Mortals, for the most part, is set in Meridon, the capital city, which is definitely a nice change of scenery. I love city settings, and I couldn’t help but feel that Meridon is very similar to London – look, this might be wishful thinking, as I love that city, so just let me pretend, will you? But I would have loved to spend a bit more time exploring it, instead of it just being a background for the plot. I also felt that too many plotlines were crammed into this book, and some seemingly without any point – for example, Sunnika appears at the beginning, but then we never learn why she seeks out Wyn. Alexandra and Aunt Sybil’s presence didn’t have much point either, just to provide company when the plot needed it.

Rake and Cat’s presence was very welcome though. They sure provided entertainment, especially Rakken and Marius’ interactions. I’m sure looking forward to reading Rake of His Own, the standalone novel in this series. I was glad that Marius got a bit more role in this book, as I like him very much, with his flaws and all. And his tendency to find himself in trouble. Usually thanks to someone handsome. I can’t wait to find out how his storyline will continue in light of certain events in The Court of Mortals. Yes, I’m being vague, but damn, I can’t write spoilers.

What I like about the Stariel series, is how it mixes different genres – Romance, Mystery, and Fantasy. I especially liked the mystery aspect, as Hetta and Wyn tried to figure out who might be behind the rumors and brewing hostility toward them. And I still applaud Lancaster for how she handles their relationship, the way it evolves, without being too much in our faces. On the other hand, I hate her for ending The Court of Mortals THAT way. I instantly wanted to go to book 4, and probably would have, if there wasn’t a change of narrators in the audiobooks. This is a shame, because I really loved Finty Williams‘ performance, and I don’t think I would have been able to get used to someone new. So I have to wait a bit but believe me I’m struggling to be patient because I NEED TO KNOW.

*Ahem* So while Lancaster might have bit a bit more than she can chew with this one, and it had some flaws, I just couldn’t stop listening to the audiobook, because the writing and these characters just sucked me in. I already admitted in my review for The Prince of Secrets, that I’m addicted, and honestly, The Court of Mortals did nothing to cure me of that. There are worse things to be addicted to, though, so I’m taking my wins where I can. The Stariel series and A.J. Lancaster are both slowly taking their place on my respective favorite lists, and I don’t even have any regrets about that. I’m looking forward to finding out how this story ends, and what else Lancaster will have in store for us in the coming years.

Our Judgement
They Shall Be Remembered - 4.5 Crowns

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