In the heart of the Imperial Courts, Ciardis Weathervane knows that death is coming for the empire. With her friends by her side and the new triad of Weathervanes, she’s in a race against time to convince the courts of the same.
She must do her best to unite kith, mages, nobles and merchants under one cause – the fight to prevent a war. Soon she is forced to keep a secret that could exonerate her mother of the Empress’s death, and is always one move away from stepping into diplomatic chaos.
Throw in a daemoni prince who is showing interest in the youngest Weathervane, a jealous prince heir, and a irritated dragon with her own designs on Ciardis, and you have an imperial court in turmoil.
This fourth novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from Sworn To Conflict.
[Full disclosure: I was given a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
You could argue that Sworn to Secrecy is just a big set up for the final book Sworn to Defiance but then you’d be wrong. There’s important stuff going on in this one and this fourth book is my favourite in the Courtlight series so far.
Let’s talk about the characters first. Ciardis has really grown up from the overwhelmed country girl in a city, although she does occasionally get overwhelmed. Her mother Lillian is absolutely fascinating and I love how she slowly reveals her backstory and the true events of the night the empress was killed.
I also like that Terah Edun didn’t make Ciardis and Lillian immediately fall into a happy-go-lucky mother-daughter relationship. There’s still some lingering resentments on Ciardis’ side because of her mother’s abandonment and Lillian is still kind of awkward around her children, as if she’s unsure how to be a mother after so many years. My favourite character other than Ciardis in this one was Thanar, the daemoni prince. He’s the snarky type of actual bad boy that I like rather than your stereotypical bad boys with pretty much nothing to angst about.
The plot was incredibly fast-paced but not at the price of world-building and character development. We learn so much about Ciardis’ world in this one and old plots are being slowly revealed. There’s conspiracies going on here and they reach all the way up to the highest authority in the land: the emperor. I was genuinely surprised at the plot twist about him but in hindsight it does make a lot of sense.
Another plot development I liked was, again surprisingly, the love triangle between Sebastien, Ciardis and Thanar. It felt organic and I love how Ciardis is genuinely confused about whether she really has feelings for Sebastien, who constantly seems to be pushing her away. I won’t give much more away but let’s just say it’s an interesting dynamic and it’s not your typical love triangle.
Basically, Sworn to Secrecy was a pretty awesome penultimate book to a series that keeps improving with each book. It’s going to be hard for Terah Edun to wrap things up in the final book but with the way her writing keeps improving I have faith in her.
I give this book 5/5 stars.