In this book, we start witch Victoria back in the hands of the evil Master Ramsey, Prince Byron (no longer a douche) stuck in the castle trying to weed out the usurpers, Princess Amelia missing, and Bethany, the clone that was left to serve as the public Princess Amelia mysteriously gone.
Sound like a lot? It is, friends. We hit the ground running, and don’t stop until the last page is turned. Michael Pierce is a master of twists and turns, not massive plot twists, but enough unsteadiness you stay glued to the book. Where’s the rest of the summary? Well, in order to keep my no spoilers promise, I’m not sure I can offer much more. With that, we’ll move on. A few things I didn’t love.
- The dialogue has some really bland descriptions, especially in Prince Byron’s chapters at the beginning of the book. A lot of the dialogue ends with “I said.” No, I sighed, I yelled, or even some other gesture or thought along with it. It made for some stale reading during a time that seemed it should be filled with turmoil. It gets better as the book continues, but we still have a few chunks where we revert back into this blandness. With so much excitement going on, it was sad to be pulled from the story by this.
- Victoria and Byron still try to put each other first, citing their epic love for one another, but they spend like 5 minutes together. Maybe I’ve never experienced such immense love with someone from spending limited time together during high stress periods, but it feels like they need a little bit more for their feelings to stay believable. At some point, it feels like saving the country or themselves would push, understandably, to the forefront.
I feel like those are picky things, so we’ll get on with some things I did love.
- Victoria is tough as nails, and there’s even a moment when Prince Byron admits to himself that she’s stronger than he’ll ever be. I love that we have a man acknowledging a woman’s abilities to himself. Not outwardly to everyone. Just inside himself. He recognizes he wants to help her, but is in awe of her as well. And not in awe of superficial things. For as harshly as I judged him (I still judge him a little for the way the first book ended) he’s slowly redeeming himself.
- Did I mention all of the action? Full. Of. Action. And a lot of it feels believable. It’s hard to have sustained, high stress, troubles without feeling like the storyline is reaching ridiculous levels, but I think Pierce has achieved this balance successfully thus far.
My recommendation? After the Royal Replicas, I was torn if it was a series worth starting. Finishing Royal Captives, I was all in for the series. I feel like the pendulum shifted back to the other side. I’m in it for the long haul, but Royal Threat didn’t have the same impact for me. I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly why because there are some serious positives. So we’re back to: it’s decent, but I’ll have to see how Royal Return (book 4) turns out if it can cement my feelings one way or another.