Book Review: The Faithless – C L Clark

Book Review: The Faithless – C L Clark

Series: Magic of the Lost #2
Release Date: 7th March 2023
Publisher: Orbit Books
Pages: 558
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this book from my local bookshop
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

In the second installment of C.L. Clark’s Magic of the Lost trilogy, soldier Touraine and princess Luca must return to Balladaire to reclaim Luca’s throne and to face the consequences of dismantling an empire.

The rebels have won, and the empire is withdrawing from Qazal. But undoing the tangled web that binds the two nations will not be easy, and Touraine and Luca will face their greatest challenge yet.

Luca needs to oust her uncle from the Balladairan throne once and for all and take her rightful place as Queen. But he won’t let go of power so easily. When he calls for a “Trial of Competence” and Luca’s allies start disappearing from her side, she will need to find a way to prove her might. And she knows someone who can help…

Touraine has found a home in the newly free country of Qazal. But she soon realizes that leading a country and leading a revolution are two very different tasks. And, even more importantly, if Luca’s uncle doesn’t ratify the treaty, the Qazali could end up right back where they started.

Together, the two women will have to come overcome their enemies, their history, and their heartbreak in order to find a way to secure Luca’s power and Touraine’s freedom.

Review

C. L. Clark’s The Unbroken was one of my favourite reads of 2022 so I was dying to get my hands on a copy of The Faithless. Picking up after the events of book one, we follow Touraine as she travels to Balladaire as an Ambassador for Qazal. Touraine knows this will be no easy task and the future of Qazal rests upon her. Meanwhile Luca has returned home to take her rightful place as Queen, however, her Uncle is not willing to let the crown go. Luca must go through a Trial of Competence to prove she is ready for the throne, but with so few allies will she be able to rally the nobles to her cause and stop her Uncle stealing the throne?

I was so curious to see whether I would love The Faithless as much as I loved The Unbroken. I was so surprised to discover I loved this book even more than book one. As soon as the book arrived I couldn’t help picking it up (partly because of that stunning cover) and I was completely glued to the pages. The story is complex, well executed and utterly compelling. I enjoyed seeing more of the world in this installment and seeing all the sights and sounds of Balladaire come to life. The world building is excellent, with the reader getting the opportunity to learn more about the magic both in Qazal and in Balladaire.

Much like book one, The Faithless is full of action packed scenes. Clark has a way of writing really dynamic fighting scenes that really have the reader on the edge of their seat. There is also lots of political intrigue in the story and it was fascinating seeing Luca attempt to bring allies to her cause. The romance in the story is impeccable and I so enjoyed seeing how the dynamics between Luca and Touraine have changed over the course of the two books. The story is not only told from Touraine and Luca’s point of view, but we also get to see the story from Pruett’s perspective – something I hadn’t been expecting but really liked. Touraine and Luca are such fascinating characters – Luca is clever, doing everything she can to fight for her throne and do the right thing for her people. Touraine is struggling to find her place in the world and help Qazal survive after being liberated.

The Faithless is a brilliant, unputdownable read with complex compelling characters (I loved Ghadin too!) and an intriguing, well paced plot. If you’ve read The Unbroken you will not be disappointed in this sequel and I cannot wait to see where Clark takes things in book three.

Blog Tour: The Unbroken – C L Clark

Blog Tour: The Unbroken – C L Clark


Series:
Magic of the Lost #1
Release Date: March 23rd 2021
Publisher: Orbit Books
Pages: 464
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.

Luca needs a turncoat.┬áSomeone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.

Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

Review

The Unbroken is the first book in an all new fantasy series. This is a dark and brutal story that follows Touraine, who was stolen from her home as a child and raised to be a soldier for the empire. Now she is returning to her homeland to help put a stop to the rebellion. As Touraine fights alongside her battalion she begins to question where her loyalties really lie – to the empire who trained her or the homeland she barely remembers? Luca is a princess doing everything she can to quash the rebellion, but she needs help to stop it while she attempts to remove her uncle from the throne. Touraine and Luca form an alliance, but will it be enough?

I loved every second I spent reading this book. This is such a compelling read and despite being nearly five hundred pages I raced through it – it’s one of those books you just can’t look away from. Clark has a really lovely writing style and it was so easy to get lost in this gripping tale. It’s a pretty fast paced book, with lots of action. It’s brimming with political intrigue and really focuses in on the themes of colonialism and racism. It’s an absolutely stunning book, that is at times painful to read.

The world building is excellent in this story, Clark has crafted a fascinating world and I cannot wait to see where the story will go in book two. This is a queernorm world and there are some incredibly compelling characters – Touraine is such a conflicted character and goes through so much in this story. I thought Luca was also a really fascinating character and it was so interesting to see two characters from such different worlds come together. Both characters go through quite a bit of growth in this story as they form an alliance and if anything that has just left me wanting more and more.

The Unbroken is a complex story that Clark has executed incredibly well. It’s full of tense moments that had me on the edge of my seat. It’s an incredible tale with a slow burn romance, tons of political intrigue and just a hint of magic. The Unbroken is undoubtedly one of my favourite books of 2021 and if you’re thinking about picking this one up, I can’t recommend it highly enough.