Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
Y’all, when I say I have been the worst about reading ARCs, that doesn’t even begin to cover it. When I say that I’ve been absolutely horrid reading sequels, it gets even worse. (As I talked about here.) So when I actually read The Faithless by C.L. Clark weeks before its publication date, wow! But perhaps it was because I missed how great of a writer C.L. Clark is and I had to know what happened next, after The Unbroken….well, broke me.
Friends, The Faithless absolutely DID NOT disappoint.
An ARC copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Publisher: Orbit Books | Release Date: March 2023 | Pages: 512
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Paperback | Source: ARC
In the second installment of C.L. Clark’s Magic of the Lost trilogy, soldier Touraine and princess Luca must return to Balladaire to reclaim Luca’s throne and to face the consequences of dismantling an empire.
The rebels have won, and the empire is withdrawing from Qazal. But undoing the tangled web that binds the two nations will not be easy, and Touraine and Luca will face their greatest challenge yet.
Luca needs to oust her uncle from the Balladairan throne once and for all and take her rightful place as Queen. But he won’t let go of power so easily. When he calls for a “Trial of Competence” and Luca’s allies start disappearing from her side, she will need to find a way to prove her might. And she knows someone who can help…
Touraine has found a home in the newly free country of Qazal. But she soon realizes that leading a country and leading a revolution are two very different tasks. And, even more importantly, if Luca’s uncle doesn’t ratify the treaty, the Qazali could end up right back where they started.
Together, the two women will have to come overcome their enemies, their history, and their heartbreak in order to find a way to secure Luca’s power and Touraine’s freedom.
On the Page
- Abusive relationships
- Blood depiction
- of a child
- of a friend
- Disappearance of a loved one
- Military service and deployment
- Murder and attempted murder
- Refugee experiences
- War themes and military violence
- Dead bodies and body parts
- Physical injuries
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- The lack of punches. Something I think I’ll always associate with Clark’s writing is her lack of pulling punches. And oh goodness, does that get elevated here!
- Touraine’s heart. My heart continually breaks for Touraine. She is trying so hard!! And in such a hard position. It’s impossible to not feel how hard she’s trying, as it just seeps through the page.
- Luca’s ruthlessness. I was firmly in the “I hate Luca” fanclub from The Unbroken. And then in the “fuck Luca” thirst club after the cover came out. Yet, no matter my complex and evolving emotions around her, I can’t help but admire her ruthlessness.
- SABINE. Hi, hello, I love you.
- Multi-POV. Also, I just love the POV balancing in this book. Seeing Pruett’s POV, in particular, really added a lot to the story for me.
- Nothing. How could I?
The Faithless was a stunning sequel to an already stellar first book. Clark doesn’t know second book syndrome. If you want a book with lesbian romance, unflinching critiques and exploration of colonization, intricate characters that will make your heart break? C.L. Clark is the writer for you.