The Heretic Royal- Review
The Heretic Royal
By G.A. Aiken
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Scarred Earth Saga #3
Publication Date: December 27,2022
Source: Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4.5 Stars
In the G.A. Aiken’s fantasy follow up to the USA Today bestselling Scarred Earth Saga’s The Princess Knight and The Blacksmith Queen, two sisters battle for a single throne, warring factions take up arms, a land is divided, and uncertain allies become very certain lovers . . . With subtle commentary on today’s political polarization, this riveting epic celebrates strong female characters and champions the underdog within a diverse, high fantasy framework.
Gods save the queen!
Ainsley Farmerson has always planned to break free of the family business—and the family drama. But what was once farming, smithworking, and bickering over the dinner table has turned into open warfare between sisters. Sides have been taken, lives are on the line, and Ainsley has no doubt which sister must be queen. She’ll do whatever is necessary to take down the soulless Beatrix. Even if that means joining forces with angry battle nuns, irritating monks, and overbearing centaurs.
Gruffyn of the Torn Moon Clan has no time for human beings. And yet . . . there is something about the uncontrollable princess that he can’t ignore. Maybe it’s the way her eldest sisters underestimate her. Or her bravery facing down dragons and mad queens from distant lands. Whatever the reason, Gruff is willing to fight by this human’s side. Not only for the entertainment value, but because she’s right. Beatrix must never be queen. So whatever he has to do, whoever he has to destroy, Gruff will battle beside Ainsley. Fast. Hard. And with absolutely no mercy . . .
“The action speeds along and the dialogue pings among sarcastic dragons, earnest fathers and obnoxious siblings.”– Bookpage
Picking up a G.A. Aiken book, I know the characters are going to be larger than life, and that I’m going to laugh and be in for an over the top ride. That’s exactly how I felt about The Heretic Royal. I will say, it helped that I’d reread both the Dragon Kin series and the first two Scarred Earth books earlier in 2022. This book is essentially a cross-over between the two series and A LOT of characters from Dragon Kin are reintroduced. Even with the background knowledge, it was hard to keep them all straight and therefore this book absolutely cannot be read on its own. Ainsley is currently in battle with Keeley for my favorite of the sisters. She’s often overlooked, especially by her two older sisters who don’t seem to realize she’s grown up. She’s brave and determined and slightly more rational than most of her family. Her centaur hero, Gruff, is a delight. A delight in that he’s always grumpy, and his job in his clan is to hold grudges. Seriously, how can you not love this book and this world! I was having a bad day when I read this book and it was exactly the distraction I needed! I’m already planning a reread!