Loyalty cannot be bought, but it can be swayed. Ursula is the oldest child of the High King Uorsin. She's also the current heir for the twelve kingdoms. She is loyal to a fault and derides mercenaries whose loyalty can be bought by coin. Ursula in a losing war. Her values are not in alignment with how she is behaving which is causing her constant inner turmoil. The phrase which comes to mind for Ursula is "Lie to Me".
Many may think Ursula is a brave heroine constantly sacrificing for her sisters. Whilst it is true that Ursula protected her sisters from her power mad father, Ursula's way of protect is foolish. By turning a blind eye to the atrocities perpetrated by her father is a self-deception which ends up causing more harm than good. In this final book in the trilogy, Ms. Kennedy captures how most females, no matter how strong, will behave. For Ursula, family means the most. When she accuses Harlan, a mercenary captain for being wavering, she's merely projecting. Ursula's misguided loyalty and belief that she's a good daughter will make everything right. When a King behaves above the law, it is now time to remind the King, he is not. This key understanding is missed by Ursula who is supposedly such an amazing strategist. If she was really so good at strategy, she would have been able to protect those she loved better. Instead, she let her desire for her father's approval make her helpless.
From a character perspective, I'm not impressed by Ursula at all. She's pigheaded, judgmental, willfully blind to her father and all around prickly. For me, she's an anti-heroine who never quite redeems herself. Each decision she makes to right an injustice is forced upon her by her family or loved ones. She is purely reactive rather than proactive which is odd considering the character profile. This is what makes her unimpressive. Her actions speak louder than words and they say, "only if I must". Of the three sisters, Andi is truest to herself and most admirable.
The action in this story goes at a decent pace. It keeps the story moving. The added evil villain in this story almost seemed an overkill and unnecessary. However, in the interest of finally pushing the reluctant Ursula into action, the new villain and threat did its job. The addition of Harlan as a love interest for Ursula is what makes this story good. Harlan is much maligned for his honest profession as a mercenary. He's gentlemanly and steadfast. The abuse he receives as the hands of Ursula are many and painful. I felt sorry for him to fall in love with such a closed off and damaged woman. Without him as a catalyst, the entire story would have fallen apart. This is the case of a white knight coming the rescue of an unwilling damsel in distress. This paranormal romance is recommended to those who love a man whose loyalty is unwavering. *provided by NetGalley