The Betrayed

Today in reviews, we have a not-so-rousing rendition of “wow, I was disappointed by an author I used to love.” And that, ladies and gentleman, is the best way to describe book 2 in the Betrothed duology by Kiera Cass. Hollis has escaped from Jameson, her husband Silas was killed on their wedding night, and now she’s going to do other things and end up in high places within the course of 300 pages, skipping entire plot points around like rocks on water.

Spoilers ahead…obviously. Like…lots of spoilers. I’m going to RUIN IT ALL for you.

BEWARE

When we left Hollis Brite at the end of book 1, she had just witnessed her parents, new husband, and most of his family being MURDERED on their wedding night. She escapes with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, they team up with Silas’s cousin, Etan, who is also royalty-adjacent, and of course, this being a YA novel, they decide they need to overthrow the king of Isolte who they think had Silas, et al, killed. So they scehem and plot but only for a bit because this book’s pacing is terrible, and Hollis and Etan “hate” each other but grow to love each other somehow? Suddenly? And they overthrow the King but then they realize the other KING did it, so off Hollis goes to handle that, but then SURPRISE they were MARRIED all along because her parents signed a contract in her home country. But then, literally it the next scene, like two pages later, Jameson FALLS ON HIS SWORD ACCIDENTALLY AND DIES. And Hollis immediately becomes queen? And then we jump to three months later, Etan is his own king, Hollis is her own queen, and she MISSES him so when he comes ot visit they decide to just be together and unite their two countries that have been at odds but not at war for ages. And they kiss and the book/series is over.

Are you impressed I could condense the whole thing in a paragraph? Well get ready, cuz that’s exactly how the book feels. Seriously, the structure of the book is in shambles. The pacing is bad, I’m PISSED she ended up with Etan because King to commoner back to commoner’s cousin who ends up king is a LOT for like 500 pages of story, total, ya know? I like Hollis, but I thought it was hard to find her existence reasonable wiht the plot falling apart at the seams. When it turned out that the Isolte King didn’t kill Silas, but he still basically went to the dungeon willingly? And then etan just became king? andthen immediately left the country to follow Hollis to the other country? With no journey time–just like it was on the other block? And then the Jameson stuff happened SO QUICKLY it was insane. Like…unbelievable but also way too fast.

Like, I think the bare bones of this story could have been COOL but why did she do it like this? Why in a duology and not a trilogy? Why not make them LONGER if only two books? So much was sacrificed to tell this story that it was almost laughable by the end. I was not invested in the romance because I was still trying to catch my breath from the 30 second sprint across the border.

Ultimately, I gave this 2.5 stars. It was just…wow. And I LIKED The Betrothed well enough. This one just…sigh. I’ll wait and see what Cass has next and hope she takes her time with it.

The Betrayed is on sale everywhere June 29, 2021.

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