Author: Rebecca Garcia
Darkness can only survive in the hearts of the wicked.
I was brought back from the edge of death by Morgana so I could reign. But whilst there, something had latched onto me, and it had no plans on leaving. With each passing day, I feel my heart growing darker and it becoming stronger. Struggling to suppress the beast within, I lose myself in the scandals and politics of my kingdom. Caught between the high priest-Vahaga-and the lords of the land, being in power has never seemed more difficult.
The threats of war with Berovia looming on the horizon means I need to remain strong for my people. My coronation nears, but with the mystery surrounding my father’s death coming under scrutiny, being back at court has never been so dangerous. Especially for a queen.
The Court of Secrets was an amazing conclusion to The Fate of Crowns series. I completely loved how this series evolved and kept was just a fantastic read from start to finish. As this novel is part of a series, it is highly suggested that you read the first two before beginning this one. Although I read all three back to back, there is enough information to remind the reader of previous events as a recap without going overboard with repeating information. From book one to book three; the reader has been taken on an epic journey alongside the characters. There was so much development over the three novels that this was the perfect conclusion and I cannot wait to reread the series all over again!
Winter Mortis, now 19 years old, is the Queen of Maegelor, but things in the kingdom are still in shambles after events from the previous two novels plus new dangers that are presented. Her coronation is coming up and Winter has a need to prove herself worthy to the lords and to the people that she is meant to rule. Although she was a strong female character before, she has grown a lot and has become a force to be reckoned with. She no longer blindly trusts those around her and thinks that what she was previously taught is the only option. Instead, she has become a lot more open-minded and just wants what is best for her kingdom and its people, even if it is not the popular option. I was honestly a fan of her when I first started reading the series and now she has become one of my top characters. Her character growth was very well done and none of it, to me, felt forced. All of her learning along the way felt natural and I loved that she was not perfect, so she felt very relatable.
There is a lot happening in this novel as everything, including Winter’s love life, are wrapped up and there are a lot of secrets and new dangers presented. The writing does sometimes tell instead of show, which might not be for every reader. For me, I did not mind it in this series as it seemed to fit and not seem as if it was forced. (Other readers may feel differently.) The shocking revelations, the betrayals, the secrets, and the action itself were all well done and kept me captivated. I actually ended up reading this in a single sitting as I wanted to see what will happen next. The plot is very complex as there are a lot of pieces at play at the same time. Many of the puzzle pieces that fit together from the previous novels remained as-is or were broken due to some secret. It made the plot itself very dynamic as many problems needed maintenance and were not fixed and forgotten.
The characters in this novel are well-done and I found myself invested into all of them. There were many characters that were good and evil with many morally grey characters, so the overall field was very realistic as there is always a mix in any group. King Blaise, a Dark Fae of Niferum and Prince Cedric, Light Fae of Berovia have a lot of secrets that come out in this novel and it is very interesting to see how it all plays out as individual characters and as love interests for Winter. I suspected who Winter would be with by the end and the way it was written was very well done. I would love a spin-off for both of them, whether it be tangent stories to accompany this series, prequels, or even sequels as I loved both characters. For me, it did not matter if Winter ended up with one, the other, or neither, as I just loved the dynamics and also adored each of the characters. Morgana was excellent and I loved her character as she was just fantastic all around. I loved how many of the secondary characters that were featured along the way were all brought back in one way or another as it gave a lot of closure to them. Some got a lot more closure than others, but it still was refreshing to see most of them have some type of ending as many novels tend to leave them out in favor of only wrapping up the plots for the main characters.
Overall, I am thrilled that I took the time to read this series as it was well worth it, although it is very difficult to believe that it is over. As I am tried to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, there is still a lot more that went through my mind regarding this novel and series. The book’s only downfall was that I wanted more and I could have read more novels featuring all of the different characters. Again, I would love spin off novels for almost all the characters, including Aquarius, Cedric, Blaise, and Morgana (honestly I would take any character) as I thought they were all complex and well-written. The novel balanced the adventure, character growth, romance, and mystery well without leaning too far in one direction, which I appreciated. The entire series went above and beyond my expectations and I absolutely cannot wait to see what the author comes up with next!
**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for a review copy of this fantastic novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**