Author: Renée Ahdieh
Narrator: Lauren Ezzo
Audiobook Length: 10 hours 29 minutes
Following the explosive events of The Damned, Odette faces a vampire’s final death. The Court of the Lions have done everything they can to save her but have failed. A healer from the Sylvan Vale could help her, but only Arjun Desai, as a half fey, can cross the boundary between realms. The Sylvan Vale is a world Arjun despises, and in return, it despises him. But knowing it could save Odette, he returns to the Vale with all haste, leaving the mirrored tare between the two worlds open and unwittingly setting the stage for both love and war.
It’s mere days until Pippa Montrose is to wed Phoebus Devereux and become a member of his well-heeled family, offering salvation to her own. But Celine is missing. Pippa has no idea where her best friend has gone, but she’s certain it’s in the company of vampire Sébastien Saint Germain and that Arjun can lead her to them. Pippa enjoins the help of Eloise, the daughter of a powerful sorceress, to discover the gateway Arjun uses to travel between worlds. Pippa, tired of hesitating in life, marches right through in search of her friend. But what she discovers on the other side is a dangerous, duplicitous world full of mischief and magic she doesn’t understand, and most unexpectedly, she finds love.
The Righteous is the third novel in the four-novel long the Beautiful series. The story picks up right where the second novel left off in the larger picture, so readers are recommended to read them to avoid spoilers. While the first two novels focus primarily on Celine, this novel takes a closer look at Celine’s best friend, Pippa Montrose. After Celine disappears leaving a simple note behind, Pippa is determined to find her again. Although I loved following Celine as the main, I enjoyed learning more about Pippa and how she fits in the larger scheme of the series. As Odette’s life is also in danger, Arjun Desai also has a chance to become a more central character.
This was an interesting delve in Pippa’s world where the reader learns more about her past. She has a complex family dynamic where she has an abusive father and Pippa is determined to keep her siblings safe. She is set to marry Phoebus Devereux in an arrangement to help her escape. On Pippa’s journey to find Celine, she meets Arjun, and their two worlds collide. As Arjun is a half-fey, he can cross into different realms which takes the characters to the Sylvan Vale. There is a fake marriage plot in the other realm of the Sylvan Wyld, which I felt needed a bit more to feel like it seamlessly belongs. Pippa and Arjun were a will-they-won’t-they throughout as Pippa has a huge dedication to her family. Although Pippa grew on me as a character, she still was not fully likeable, for me, by the end. Arjun has been likable since his first appearance; however, it was difficult to have him fully carry the story as he is outshined by the “memory” of Bastien from the first two novels.
Since the focus has shifted in this novel compared to the previous two where Pippa and Arjun are the mains and Celine and Bastien are the secondary, there is a lot the author tries to accomplish in a single story. While Pippa and Arjun have been minor characters, the author did not need to fully introduce them, but there was the difficult task of having the reader fully connect to their stories. It worked in some ways, but I just could not fully get there. Celine, Bastien, and Michael appear, but they are in minor roles. I am not sure if this is due to an unknown plot to be revealed or if the author just did not take as much time with Celine, but her personality in this story was not reminiscent of the character from before. Since there is one more novel in the series, it will be very interesting how the author now brings the four characters and their stories all together to create a satisfying conclusion. I greatly look forward to seeing how she pulls it off!