Author: Raven Kennedy
Series: The Plated Prisoner #2
Age Category: New Adult
Publisher: Independently Published/Amazon
Publish Date: January 11, 2021
Print Length: 479
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“You want to make your life easier? Then be the caged bird that you are and sing.”
For ten years, I’ve lived in a gilded cage inside King Midas’s golden castle. But one night changed everything.
Now I’m here, a prisoner of Fourth Kingdom’s army, and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it out of this in one piece. They’re marching to battle, and I’m the bargaining chip that will either douse the fire or spark a war.
At the heart of my fear, my worry, there’s him—Commander Rip.
Known for his brutality on the battlefield, his viciousness is unsurpassed. But I know the truth about what he is.
The betrayers. The murderers. The ones who nearly destroyed Orea, wiping out Seventh Kingdom in the process. Rip has power sizzling beneath this skin and glinting spikes down his spine. But his eyes—his eyes are the most compelling of all.
When he turns those black eyes on me, I feel captive for an entirely different reason. I may be out of my cage, but I’m not free, not even close.
In the game of kings and armies, I’m the gilded pawn. The question is, can I out maneuver them?
This is the captivating second book of The Plated Prisoner series. It’s an adult epic fantasy story blending romance, intrigue, and beautiful imagery. Return to the seductive story of magic inspired by the myth of King Midas, and get caught up in the world of Orea.
Warning: The review may contain spoilers for GILD, the first book in the series.
The second book in The Plated Prisoner series, GLINT continues to follow Auren after she finds her captivity shifted to the responsibility of the Fourth Kingdom’s army. I enjoyed GILD, the first book, but it ever so slightly underwhelmed me. (I blame the hype train.) However, the scene is now set and I found GLINT to be more engaging and the writing improved. Though still told predominantly from Auren’s point of view, there are now chapters from Queen Malina’s perspective as well as that of King Midas.
My main critique of GILD was that I felt there wasn’t a lot of movement, despite a lot of events happening, because the story spends large swaths of time in a couple of main locations. GLINT is similar in that most of the story occurs as Auren travels with the Fourth Kingdom’s army to Fifth Kingdom. However, I felt more invested because Auren experiences a lot of personal growth. Some may feel the plot moves too slowly, but I thought Kennedy’s portrayal of Auren’s trauma processing was realistic. That is, trauma recovery is not linear and this amount of time is necessary for Auren to reflect upon her past and recent events. The reader has an intimate look into Auren’s thoughts as she experiences a self-awakening about who she is and what she wants.
“Are people so content in ignorance that they’ll believe every lie fed to them, despite what they see right in front of their eyes?”
Ironically, Auren’s time spent with Fourth Kingdom’s army serves as the catalyst for these realizations. Although technically a captive, she experiences a semblance of camaraderie for the first time. Fully aware of her predicament, her situation becomes somewhat nuanced as she strikes up reluctant friendships born from circumstance. Rip, the mysterious and intimidating Commander of the army, more directly incites Auren’s journey of self-awareness. He seems to know more than he lets on and how exactly to push Auren towards facing the hard truths kept locked away and ignored in her mind. This both infuriates and intimidates Auren, but she refuses to back down from his challenges as she tries to figure out his ulterior motive.
I was nervous about Rip at the end of GILD, but I really enjoyed his characterization in GLINT. The way Kennedy adeptly scripted his scenes was perfect. His page time, words uttered, actions, and physical descriptions are the definition of enigmatic. I figuratively held my breath every time he shared a scene with Auren. He undeniably exudes a quiet, menacing power that, along with his pointed lines, commands respect and fear. As the story progresses, an undercurrent of curious desire starts to coalesce. This sparks confusion from Auren as she inwardly wars with the love and history she shares with Midas and her newfound “freedom.”
There are some plot twists and all of them raise more questions than they answer. One I subconsciously guessed in the sense that I felt that question form in my head, but shoved it down so I wouldn’t spoil it for myself. The others genuinely surprised me. In reality I probably should have seen one of them coming, but I was so caught up in Auren’s self discovery journey that I remained oblivious.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and think it’s better than the first installment. I think it realistically portrays the mental health journey of someone realizing they experienced domestic emotional abuse. And by that I mean there isn’t a convenient or quick recovery solution; rather, the character begins their healing journey in a nonlinear, somewhat stepwise fashion. Like GILD, GLINT is a dark fantasy that broaches the topic of abuse and the journey that begins once the person recognizes and acknowledges this exploitation.
Content warnings: captivity
Reading format: Kindle e-book