Title: Poisoned Blades
Author: Kate Elliott
Series: Court of Fives #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: August 8, 2016
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and Edelweiss
Now a Challenger, Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives--the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons alike. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes's only option, as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the chance to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on her traveling party puts Jes at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos--the prince she still loves--is fighting against their country's enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal's life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion.... She must become a warrior.
What a really intense, unpredictable book that I really found myself enjoying. The way that Jessamy changes and undergoes so many different things that happen around her and the political world that she will have to navigate.
One of the things that i like about Jessamy is that she is not passive. She actually likes to try to do things. Sometimes her actions can make things worse or better. Jessamy has to deal with the fact that she is now an adversary. She also worries about her family and what will happen to them. If her enemy, the head of the stable she runs as an adversary for, finds out they are alive he will kill them or use them against her in a way she doesn’t even want to fathom. There is some plots going on that she is made aware of. There are politics and family drama among the rulers. So of course, these are dangerous individuals and times for everybody.
I love how her conversations with Kalliarkos seem very realistic to me and that he doesn’t see her point of view at times. I felt like they are both at different places and in different roles in this book. So it makes their experiences very different. I felt like that both of them are at odds. Yet the romance was not what seem to be the main focus of this book. I felt like Jessamy is always having to make tough decisions and she is fine with those decisions until things don’t always work out the way she wants them to.
I felt like the politics and things that are happening outside the court of Fives was interesting and added so much more drama to the book. Yet things get intense as she has to forgo seeing her family. When she does see them, they view things differently. Her sister Bettany is a real pain. I don’t like her sister at all. She seems like things are all about her. So of course there are a lot of twists and turns with her sister that I didn’t see coming.
Yet Jessamy is playing her own game when she gets some advice from a certain character. She decides to use it and it will serve her well as things happen that no one can see coming. Plus some characters lives are change as alliances change, government and revolution happening. The fact that there are people sick of the way that the people who rule are revolting is necessary for change. Not to mention when people see Jessamy they let her pass through the streets.
I thought that the deaths of certain characters and nobility seemed almost necessary in a way, even though there was a certain character who didn’t deserve to die in the way he did. I was really shocked by that happening. It was like a punch in the stomach kind of twists. You find that certain people who are not they seem. That was a good surprise, but I wish that there had been more romance between Jessamyn and Kal in a way. Plus the betrayal of Bettany has hurt her deeply and you can so relate to that pain of being betrayed.
Overall a good book, but I felt like theres going to be something big happening in the next installment of this series. I liked Jessamy a lot more in this book as she grew as a character in a lot of ways. Plus she is no longer this person who is a victim, but someone who might be able to make a difference.