Red by Jennifer Anne Davis

Book 2 of the True Reign series. Feel free to check out my review of The Key to catch up!

First, we have to talk about how badass this cover is. I swear this book’s cover is at least part of the reason I started this series. I even weirdly showed it to some non-book addicts at work, and they officially think I’m even stranger than they previously did.

Now that we’ve all taken time to live that moment with me, we’ll awkwardly move on.

In this installment, we follow Rema as she gets to know the rebel army, their cause, and her heritage while Darmik (TDH from the last post) works through a whole lot of feelings.

Overall, I enjoyed this book more than the first. I’m not sure if I loved the cover enough, got used to the writing style, or liked the plot more, but there we have it. Some things I loved:

  • Love triangle! Anyone who’s lived through any books with me knows a solid, believable love triangle gets me every time. Every. Time.
  • Darmik does some serious soul searching and growth in this book. From thinking through his family, his ideals, and even his friendship with Neco, I appreciate an army commander with a soft side.
  • Rema owns her shit after deciding she’s going to be queen. She does the work to ensure she’s knowledgeable, assertive to ensure respect, and thinks about her people by even wondering if she can marry for love if a different alliance would help the kingdom more. Badass.

As always, there are some things I didn’t love…

  • She runs out of the castle grounds all upset in the cold. Really??? That feels short sighted. She comes back after realizing how stupid that was and does it again shortly after the first time. It’s like watching a horror movie where the victim runs up the stairs. Sigh.
  • Although I love her taking charge, when she demands respect in some moments, more communication would help. Outsiders come into the rebel castle and she says they’re fine, but no one knows them or why she’s so dedicated to that opinion, and she gets a little hot about them not heeding her demands of release. It feels a little unfair of a reaction to happen as many times as it does.
  • The ending… NOT because it’s a cliffhanger, which it super is, but because: how in the world is that possible?!? I hope it gets explained in the next book.

My final thoughts? I’m more on board with the series than I was after book 1. Stay tuned for my thoughts after I read the next leg of our friends’ journey.

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