Friday, October 7, 2016

Review: Poisoned Blade - Kate Elliot

Poisoned Blade
Kate Elliott
Series:Court of Fives, #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young readers
Rating: DNF

I honestly cannot remember the last time I DNF'ed a book. I've finished books so bad they took me a month to bring myself to read, but I finished. I'm actually a little surprised that this is the book that I finally ended up DNFing because from what I read, I didn't totally hate and utterly despise it or anything. I've finished (and reviewed) way worse books. But oh well, c'est la vie.

If you have no idea what this book is about, I reviewed the first book in the series with Amrutha last year and you can read that here! Basically, it's about a girl who lives in a world with major class divisions and lots of political ~~shadiness~~ and also there's a Prince and and some Games and some other stuff. In my Court of Fives review I'm a little on the fence about how much I like the book, but in my experience the second book in a trilogy is often the strongest so I was optimistic about this one.

The book picked up right where the first book ended, which would have been cool if I hadn't forgotten half the plot and had to piece it together as I read Poisoned Blade. That's not a point against the book or anything because it's pretty biased toward my own memory, but now you know what I had to go through. Moving on, one of my grievances is against the characters, which I'm pretty sure was also a grievance in the first book. I liked Jessamy -- the protagonist -- in Court of Fives, but in this book she seems more annoying and introspective. I also wasn't all that impressed by any development of her sisters -- they still felt like stock characters to me -- though I'm sure that could have changed by the end of the book. Also Kalliarkos was kind of irritating as well -- I can understand it a little because Jessamy did him dirty but also homeboy's gotta stop being petty.

Speaking of Kalliarkos, I mentioned in my review of the previous book that I wasn't all that into their romance and it holds true for this one. Their interactions were even weirder here than in Court of Fives. I'm lowkey hoping that in the last few pages some previously unknown second love interest comes out of the woodwork because I'm really not feeling this.

In general, the book was just hard to get through. The writing itself wasn't bad, but I would get bored very quickly and not come back for a long while and I like to read books in long uninterrupted chunks when I can, so the way I read it (which was a result of the content, not like...laziness or something) just added to the lack of enthusiasm for reading it. I still can't pinpoint what exactly it is about the book that makes it this way. It was a lot more heavy with the ~politics~ but I actually liked that and found it one of the things that kept me interested. I think the main issue is that there was so much going on and so many plots that eventually it got a little bit all over the place and ended up becoming uninteresting.

There are so many 4/5 star reviews for this on Goodreads that I think I might give this another chance in a few (many) months and see if I just read it at the wrong time or something, but for now I'm just going to accept that this series is not for me.

Side note: Can we appreciate that I tend to ramble so much that I basically wrote a full length review for a DNF book?

- Noor

Do you DNF books often?
Let us know in the comments!

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