Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 5 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it does reference events in the first book of the series, Poison Princess (VBC review).
Endless Knight, the second novel in the fantastic Arcana Chronicles, picks up immediately after the end of Poison Princess, with Evie having fully unlocked her powers and the Empress now well and truly in the game.
Whilst her Empress side may be out for blood, Evie wants no part in the ancient battle that sees teenagers, each with unique abilities chronicled by the tarot deck, pitted against one another to the death. Immortality waits for the winner but for most it’s about one thing; getting to the reigning champion Death before he gets to them.
Already teamed up with the Fool, the Moon, the Magician and one seriously pissed off, freaked out Cajun, Evie sets out to form an alliance with the other cards, so that once they’ve taken Death out, they refuse to kill each other – refuse to play the game. Evie may be more powerful than ever but with so many deadly obstacles in this devastated world, Death isn’t their only danger, nor is he the only deadly card.
In Endless Knight we begin to get a much deeper understanding of the Arcana and the history that links all these characters. The stark and terrifying aftermath of the Flash is still a compelling backdrop but it’s no longer just about fighting to survive. I really love how complex and rich this premise is becoming, particularly when seeing snippets of previous games and their far-reaching impact. I was fascinated by each new card that was introduced; some powerful, some terrified and some using the apocalypse and its creations for their own horrifying agendas.
Learning the extent and reason behind her powers has given Evie more confidence in her ability to protect herself and those she loves. I like the fact it doesn’t turn her into a immediate badass though, as she still struggles with the survival elements. She isn’t comfortable with her battle heat either, frightened by the lines the Empress is willing to cross and there are some tough choices in this book for her.
These new strengths also bring big changes in her relationship dynamics. Jackson is furious at being kept in the dark and confused by his role, now that Evie seemingly no longer needs a protector. He isn’t one for giving up a challenge though and his love is the anchor grounding her against the Empress’ pull, making her want to fight for what’s right,
Death, on the other hand, makes her feel like a force to be reckoned with. When she is separated from the group, taken by Death, she realises there is more to him than just a ruthless hunter. His wealth of knowledge, plus their history and undeniable chemistry, intrigues her but he can be calculating and cruel.
These two have Evie’s head spinning and I loved every moment of it. The intensity is off the charts, each calling to a different part of her. Huge revelations later on in Endless Knight have the potential to change everything and I couldn’t turn the page fast enough.
Dark, dangerous and complex, Endless Knight made me shiver and, at times, shudder. It made my heart flutter and my pulse race. I still love the post apocalyptic world Kresley Cole has created but the mythology of the Arcana and intense relationships really shined for me here. The battle for Evie’s heart is almost as complicated as the battle for her life and I for one can’t wait to see what comes next.
Sexual content: Sex