Ivy Morgan hasn’t been feeling like herself lately. Not like anyone can blame her. After all, being held captive by a psychotic fae prince hell-bent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld is bound to leave some mental scars.
It’s more than that, though. Something dark and insidious is spreading throughout Ivy, more powerful than she could ever imagine… and it’s coming between her and the man she’s fallen deeply in love with, elite Order member Ren Owens.
Ren would do anything to keep Ivy safe. Anything. But when he makes a life altering choice for her, the fallout of his act has far reaching consequences that threaten to tear their lives apart. If Ivy is going to have any hope of surviving this, she must put aside the hurt and betrayal she feels, and work with not only those she loves, but with an enemy she would rather kill than ever trust. War is coming, and it soon becomes clear that what Ivy and Ren thought they knew about the Order, themselves, and even their enemies, has been nothing but a cluster of dangerous, deadly lies. Ivy knows she must be more than just brave to save those she loves–and, ultimately, to save herself.
Because behind ever evil fae Prince, there’s a Queen…
Brave picks up almost immediately where Torn left off. Ivy is recovering at Hotel Good Fae while trying to decide their next steps in defeating the prince.
The first 50 pages of Brave are intense and amazing. Ivy is dealing with the memories of being held captive. She, understandably, makes poor decisions and is forced to deal with the consequences. I absolutely loved this opening sequence because Armentrout showcases her incredible ability in understanding Ivy’s trauma and corresponding emotional state. Throughout these opening pages the focus is almost solely on Ivy. Ren and Tink are very much on the periphery in terms of their ability in helping Ivy recover. The Wicked trilogy is Ivy’s story, not Ivy and Ren’s story, and that fact is made abundantly clear in this novel.
This New Adult Fantasy trilogy is one of the best I’ve read, however the magic system and the Royal Courts of Winter and Summer are not expanded upon with enough detail. I was hoping Brave would expand on the fae’s magical abilities, but, unfortunately, it does not, which is made more frustrating by the introduction of new fae. I also would have liked more information about the Winter and Summer Courts to ground my understanding of the fae’s abilities and history.
Ivy and Ren’s relationship is one of the best aspects of this trilogy. It’s realistic in its portrayal of their flaws and weaknesses. Ren is as swoon worthy as they come, but he’s far from perfect. He makes mistakes with devastating consequences. Too often in the New Adult genre male love interests are portrayed as perfect in all things, especially relationships (even when they’ve never been in one). So, Ren is a breath of fresh air.
Overall, Brave is a great conclusion to the Wicked trilogy. It’s action packed, but with an almost laser like focus on Ivy’s development. This trilogy is definitely one of the better New Adult Fantasy novels on the market so don’t miss out!
**I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.