A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer
Let’s go with 5000 stars, shall we? Even though Goodreads only lets me have 5!
Obviously, spoilers are ahead!
Ok, so how do I write a review for the finale of a series that has come to mean so much to me? Filled with characters I’ve needed since I was a teenager?
By doing a reread of the book first of course!
Ok, it turns out that doing a reread didn’t help in the slightest in me figuring out how to talk about this book.
Thing is, I didn’t really ever want this series to end. This is the first book or series that I’ve ever really seen myself in one of the characters. I said in my review of A Curse that I needed that book and this series when I was 14 or 15 but the truth is, I needed this book now too. I know I joke so much about crying at pretty much any book but the truth is, I’ve never cried while writing a review like I’m doing now. I needed Harper (and Rhen and Grey) when I was a lost teenager still struggling with being different, still trying to figure out who I was but really, 17 years later at age 32 not much has changed. I still feel lost at times but Harper and these books remind me who I am, who I can choose to be, every day. But before I descend into ugly sobbing and ruin my laptop with too much salt water let’s talk about the actual book.
I really liked that it was divided between Harper & Rhen and Grey & Lia Mara. I mean, I get why A Heart focused on Grey but I missed Harper and Rhen! But this was good as it meant we didn’t have to guess how each brother was coping with the ultimatum of war (Also I got my Harper and Rhen goodness, which makes me a happy little fangirl)
I liked Jake so much better in this book, maybe because he was away from Harper – I mean when she ended up in Syhl Shallow he still seemed to underestimate her (maybe I just have a thing about people underestimating the person with CP – projecting a bit much there, maybe?) But he supported and cared for Grey so much, he’s so goddamn loyal like his sister and I loved him for it.
How do I talk about Rhen? Everything that happens to him kills me. From having to decide whether to fight Grey to thinking Harper is dead hurts my heart so much. How he falls at Grey feet because without Harper he has nothing left, killed me. I just want to give him so many hugs.
As expected, I loved Harper, her tenacity when it came to learning to sword fight despite her physical weaknesses; her strength and determination to search for Grey; to search for the Grey who stayed with Rhen through all those seasons of the curse; to find her friend, the Grey who left her in DC with his braces and knives, the only thing he had to give; and the Grey who ran and hid to protect Rhen after trying to kill Lilith in DC, the one who loved his brother despite everything.
I actually really, really like Lia Mara, she’s so stubborn and determined even with everyone around her fighting against her, despite the 60-day ultimatum, she still forges ahead with her fight for peace, and it works! Sometimes stubborn determination wins out and that made me so happy to read. (Also my reread allowed me to pick up on the times she was throwing up as morning sickness since I knew by then that she was pregnant – baby Grey!!!)
Tycho and Iisak were a brilliant caring pair and it was awesome to read more of Tycho’s back story. My heart stopped when Rhen threw himself between Tycho and Lilith’s dagger. It meant so much that Rhen did that for him after everything that happened between them in A Heart. I think because it really damn near killed him to torture Grey and Tycho like he did but he felt so lost and trapped! It was clear that in the end Iisak stopped Lilith, not only for Grey but to protect Tycho in the way he wasn’t able to protect his own son. And yes, as expected I did sob when he died; it’s me after all would you really expect anything else?
I’ve also realised during my reread that both times I’ve reached about 70 or 80% of the way through the book before something inside pulls me away. I realised, even on my second read, even knowing the ending, part of me is pushing away because I know that by finishing this book, I’m finishing the series and my time in this world with Harper, Rhen and Grey. I’m saying goodbye to a world that has wormed its way into my heart and stayed there. There is a part of me that knows that finishing this book means leaving this world. I guess that’s the mark of truly great writing, when reading it become so real, you never want to leave.
This was really the perfect way to finish the series and while I wish I could run away and live in Emberfall forever I’m glad the series finished this way, Rhen seemed so lost at the end but it was great to see him and Grey finding their footing finally as brothers. To see them work together for the good of Emberfall and Syhl Shallow together. To fight for the good of all. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to be curled up in the foetal position in the corner sobbing over entire series. Until next time,
See you in the future ❤
P.S. My free pre-order Emberfall patch from BloomsburyYA arrived! now I just need to figure out where to put it…