I was too overwhelmed to read Lady’s Ransom as an advanced copy, but it worked out for the better! These books are so hard to put down that it was nice to switch between book and audio, and the narrator was made for Claire’s voice.
Is Claire one of my favorite Wheeler characters ever at this point? Heck yes. Is Ransom equally amazing in this one? Well – he had his moments but honestly I felt like this one finally gave Claire her spotlight, even though I wanted still more from her.
My reviews of the series so far:
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Lady’s Ransom
- Series: The First Argentines, #3
- Author: Jeff Wheeler
- Publisher & Release: 47 North, September 2021
- Length: 459 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ If you can put the series down at this point, who are you?
Here is the synopsis:
In kingdoms at war, alliances are made to be broken in a thrilling novel of magic and dark conspiracies by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Warrior’s Ransom.
Ransom Barton and his wife, Claire de Murrow, have arrived in Legault to reclaim the title that was Claire’s birthright. Claire intends to rebuild a war-ravaged palace to its former glory and to teach Ransom about the magical history of their new home. But when Ransom is summoned to return to King Benedict, his loyalty to Claire is tested. Fealty prevails, however questionable the king’s motives.
The ambitious Benedict, who controls his late father’s dominion, must prove his might. The warriors of the East Kingdoms have disrupted the trade routes, weakening every kingdom in their path. Benedict’s plan is to fend off a coming war through strategic alliances. But it’s Ransom’s post to keep the king’s allies―as well as his poisonous enemies―in line, even as Benedict’s defense may be inviting further chaos.
As the king’s power grows and Ransom’s rise in the council is secured, a shadowy conspiracy threatens to destroy everything Ransom has worked to build. Now torn between allegiance to the woman he loves and duty to king and country, which will Ransom choose?
As if Ransom hasn’t been tested enough, now Benedict is waging war on the Eastern Kingdoms. How can he be loyal to both his wife and home, AND to Kingfountain, both of which need him more than ever?
The plotting and intrigue and tested loyalties go so far above and beyond in this installment that I think I just read the book nonstop. The pacing very rarely slowed down and I don’t think I was bored once
What I really liked was how Wheeler took a deep dive into the lore of the Fountain vs the older lore of the Aos Sí. Ransom and Clare had to reconcile their religious tolerance and I do think that the legends are birthed from the same place. It was nice to have those legends make sense and be related to events in the books too, as to not just have random stories thrown at the reader.
The glimpses into the future were great too because it linked Ransom to Owen and Evie, even though hundreds of years came in between them.
Speaking of children – omg the family life, omg. Wheeler never writes about family life but I just loved Ransom’s dad pride and how the little ones kept getting up to antics. It was hard seeing the family separated but I imagine life is such for kings and queens. I think that despite having violent tendencies and being a potentially gray character at times, having kids seems to have tamed Ransom’s temper a bit.
Queens – Claire – what can I even say, I wanted to see the warrior queen leading her army. It was lovely seeing her claim her birthright and having Ransom there to help rebuild. It’s hard to talk about her without spoilers but Claire definitely saved the day in this book and had the best character arc. Her strength and cunning and loyalty all came through and she shined here. I liked Tenthor too, his antics were something else.
Battles, action, lore, antics, plotting, treason … I have to mention James Wigant too, I never thought I would respect him as a character but he had me hooting and hollering at the end of the book, I was SO GLAD that that entire sequence happened.
Let’s upset this wedding!-The Duke of the North p. 419
Again it really surprised me that that scene was so touching to me but I loved it. I also liked the scene with Constance teaching Ransom how to pray in a more traditional sense, I am curious to see if their storyline is truly used up now.
Overall: I do have the advanced copy of book four, and am dreading reading it because of how it ends. I almost wish the synopsis was a little less descriptive! Jon-Landon is a brat and a shit and ugh I need a break before reading about him as king.
Lady’s Ransom is the phenomenal third book in The First Argentines series and I do truly recommend the Kingfountain books to anyone interested in knights, lore, intro to fantasy type reading