Warmaidens by Kelly Coon (Gravemaidens #2)
What I drank prior: Red and white bottles of wine. How FuN!
Warmaidens is the dark, action-packed conclusion to the heartwrenching Gravemaidens fantasy duology. Kammani and the maidens are now going to war against the ruler who tried to entomb them.
Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage.
But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.
Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.
My Summary: After Kammani and her fellow gravemaidens escape from the first book, they are still on the run from Alu, their home Cory. They still need to figure out how to get Amani on the throne without hurting her poeple. They find out Uruku is treating the people of Alu poorly and decide an assasination attempt is better than war. A comedy of errors ensues that ends up… somewhere I guess.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I could literally not predict more of a turn around from Gravemaidens. I loved Gravemaidens (especially based on my review) while this one was a total chore with 100% not the characters I read before. Or the world building. (Dramatized reading I’m sure) but this book was nothing like it’s predecessor and totally fell into the second book slump despite being the final book in the series. A tragedy.
Characters: First up, Kammani, our resident healer, is still trying to find herself, even though I thought we did a lot of that in the last book. And did you know she was a healer? She mentions that A LOT. Dagan, her love interest, is mostly her love interest but also shows up for being a good brother. But mostly we don’t get to see much of his personality outside of being a good love interest/family member. Fiery and spoiled Nanaea, her sister, gets a total personality change. While I get that the trauma of the past book’s events would have an impact, this was a total 360. And Iltani. Man, Iltani TOTALLY SUCKS in this book. She really cannot keep it together and seems to ruin everything. But we’re supposed to think it’s endearing? Idk. And all the villains are literally paper villains. They are bad and therefore only do bad things. Right?
Plot: Literally a comedy of errors in terms of war strategy and plot in general. Like omg they could not do anything right. Was the last book like this? Gosh I hope not. Also the pacing was SO off. Lots of planning, not enough action. Or character development. Or much at all except, do you remember Kammani is a healer? Also, for a title of Warmaidens, most of the pilot was literally the opposite. Action scenes were low.
World Building: Felt like literally none. Some of the Koru and Linaza stuff was great, but really not the focus of the book. The gods stuff was at a minimum a bit interesting, in particular Death’s story. However, compared to the first book we were really resting on our laurels here.
Writing Style: It seriously at points felt like the same senatncea over and over. SERIOUSLY I GET KAMMANI IS A HEALER. And what their mission is. We don’t need it said over and over. Hilariously, did not use the phrase “turn of a dial” once to my count. This is relevant if you read my last review.
Drink Pairing: A shot you were excited about, but literally but you in the ass.
TL;DR: Just read the first book then stop.
Rating: 2/5 shots