Julia sipped at her tea, relishing the warmth as it spread into her chest.
‘I just thought he was going to change things,’ she said. ‘I thought the Queen was supposed to come back, wake up the King and bring us a cure for the contamination.’
‘But you know what the contamination really is now. We both know what it really is.’
The Weeper vaccine. The Silver cure.
Julia had told Livia the truth the moment she’d returned from the Red.
‘I know,’ said Julia, ‘but still, shouldn’t something have changed? All the lives lost and battles fought and still things are happening exactly as they used to. The Candidates are still being cast, the Attendants are still bleeding, the Servers are still slaving, and above it all the Nobles are still taking exactly what they want from us. How is that fair?’
Livia settled back in her seat.
‘Well, now, that depends on what you’re asking. If you’re asking how it’s fair that they’ve used us for this long, then the answer is it’s not. It’s never been fair, and there’s no wiping that blame away from them. But if you’re asking how it’s fair that they’re still allowed to use us when you know very well what has the power to make them stop… Well, that’s a different question, isn’t it?’
Julia put her tea aside, no longer thirsty.
‘What are you saying?’ she said.
‘You know what’s in the blood of them outside the Blue. The way I see it, you’ve got a choice: either you accept things as they are, or you do something about it.’
Julia couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Yes, she’d resolved to change the way that things were in the Blue, and yes, the thing that had motivated her was the knowledge that the contamination could be used as a weapon against the Nobles, but she hadn’t quite put the two together into a course of action. The thought of actually using that weapon felt too extreme to contemplate.
But it was the logical end point, one Julia knew she’d have to accept.
This is a landmark occasion folks, this is the first time I have ever reviewed A WHOLE SERIES on this blog! Josie Jaffrey’s Sovereign trilogy has been a blog favourite and I am delighted to be reviewing its conclusion. The King has risen, the Queen has been found, and the cure is seeping slowly into the Blue despite the best efforts of the Silver within. Knowledge is power in this world of secrets, and more and more humans are understanding that the rules they have obeyed their entire lives have been based on lies and fear. It is only a matter of time before the world as they know it collapses around them.
‘If you’d let me,’ he whispered, ‘I could be the making of you.’ But Julia leaned away. This wasn’t what she wanted. This wasn’t what she wanted at all. ‘I don’t want you to make me,’ she said. ‘I’d rather make myself.’
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I love these characters. Julia is my HERO – the way her character has evolved over the course of the series, the way she comes to term with who she wants to be and how she wants to live her life, are brilliant. Her relationship with Lucas is fraught with tension even as she agrees to pursue it, because Julia – shockingly to most, and in total contrast to her book one self – does not want to be ennobled. She has seen the greed and abuse of power that has kept her captive in the Blue, has felt the stitches in her throat reminding her of how disposable she is. A source of blood, yes, but an easily broken one that can be replaced. Lucas might be one of the Invicti now, but that doesn’t mean Jules is singing the praises of the Silver – far from it. She is almost entirely cut off from who she used to be, old comforts becoming dangerous to her, and the wildness of the Red seems safer now than the whispers and secrecy of the Blue.
‘Cam had no plan. He’d run here thinking only of reaching Felix, of pulling him into his arms and burying his face in the woodsman’s neck. He could almost smell his skin if he concentrated hard enough, like fresh-cut branches green with the spring. Then he felt it. There was a tugging in his chest, so real that Cam looked down to see what was causing it. But there was nothing, just the sense of something drawing him on, an invisible tether pulling him towards the city. He followed it.’
Yes, faithful readers, there is plentiful content involving Cam and Felix who you all know I love and adore and want to be happy. Amidst the danger, angst and murder plots there are a few, beautiful and utterly hilarious, moments where they just can’t catch a break. They decide to travel alone together, maybe have some alone time? A member of the Invicti wants to come! Trying to figure out a travel route? Well hey that human that keeps popping up wants to go that way too, and they can’t go alone! Those poor guys, honestly. With Cam’s determination to end the Silver once and for all, and Felix’s devotion to him meaning he always has a willing ally, even the Invicti cannot stop him. But it’s not just the Invicti they’re up against. Packs of Silver roam the red, murdering and herding humans to serve their own agendas, and weepers have made it to the island. There’s no time for love, not yet, not until Cam has finished what he has set out to do – and it just might kill them all.
‘I’m ready to start the next chapter. I want to see what happens when people have their freedom again. I want to see what they can build when they don’t have to worry about the Silver or the Weepers, when all they have is a world full of space and each other.’
I’m actually really sad that this series is finished, because I love it so much. The worldbuilding is wonderful, different threads of lore and magic and history intertwining to create a world that simultaneously feels realistic and fantastical. The characters are diverse and fleshed out and the storytelling is wonderful. I got given the first of the series before this for Christmas so guess who’ll be reading that soon!
‘Look, maybe I could tell you a fairytale this time…Why don’t we write the ending instead, about a girl who wants to save her people, and a knight who’ll defy his King to do what’s right.
Overall this story, this series, is wonderful and I would recommend it to everyone. Josie Jaffrey is a fantastic storyteller and I will be reading everything she writes forever. Jaffrey has managed to present vampirism and dystopia in ways that feel new and fresh while drawing from the roots of the genre with ease, combining genres and styles and creating something thoroughly original.
Overall rating: 5 books out of 5
The Gilded King, the first book in the Sovereign series, is FREE to download. Links here.
Living Underground, a very short standalone vampire romance, is currently FREE to download (until 17th Feb). Download here.
Join Josie’s Readers’ Club and get a FREE short story (a prequel to the Solis Invicti series). Join here.
Enter Josie’s giveaway for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of one of her books (winner’s choice). Enter here.