(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Two separate worlds; the Undine of the Deep and the Wolves of the Dry. A history muddled in war but thick with family bonds blur the lines of right and wrong. The youngest members of each race unite, trying to steer their people away from the brink of disaster. Serena and Liam must work together to resolve the problems of their people before the pressure tears these twin siblings apart. But the betrayed are angry, and are out for revenge.
[Full disclosure: I requested and received an ebook copy of the whole trilogy on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
With that doozy of a cliffhanger at the end of The Rising, I just had to read The Betrayed almost immediately after. I mean, finding out that not only the King is Serena’s father but that he sacrificed himself to save her and the Undine? That’s a pretty steep cliffhanger to end the first book in a trilogy on. It didn’t make the first book unsatisfying, though. It just made me want to read the second book as soon as possible!
So now Serena is Queen and the problems that were her father’s are now her own. Not only is the ocean not getting any less acidic where the Undine are situated, the werewolves are still a huge problem after the mini-war that broke out at the end of the last book. Werewolves were killed and Undine were killed; in the end it brought everyone no closer to a peace deal. Serena’s father’s sacrifice should have ended the war between werewolves and Undine but Alaric (the leader of the werewolves) is still demanding that the Undine hold to the king’s bargain and surrender Serena for him to experiment on. That’s obviously not going to happen now that she’s Queen, but Serena has more than herself to think of: only one of the women who were able to mate in the last book has been able to conceive and now the werewolves are blockading the beach again. Cordelia, the woman in question, now has nowhere to give birth to her child and that’s a major problem for a child who might be the new hope for the entire Undine species.
Serena really is going through a lot. First she learns that her father isn’t dead and is in fact the king and then he dies to save her and his people. She loves one of his guardsmen, Kai, but has to pretend to be mated to Murphy, the Captain of the Guard for political reasons so that the older generation will accept her. On top of all that, the supply of food for the Undine is dying out with the rising acidity of the ocean where they live. Things really aren’t looking good for Serena but I was really impressed with her character. She truly does rise to the challenge, even if things start out a little bumpy. Of course she makes mistakes and isn’t the best politician yet but she’s only 18. I shudder to think of most 18-year-olds (or 80-year-olds for that matter) trying to tackle all of those problems at once. And some of the solutions Serena comes up with aren’t popular; still, she sticks to them.
The plot in The Betrayed is a lot more fast-paced than the previous book and some of the plot twists are far less predictable. There was a lot of intrapersonal conflict on Serena’s part because of all the pressure placed on her but it was interesting since I’ve come to care about her character, particularly in this second book. She has a tough job and she’s doing the best she can, especially since she was never raised as royalty and never even suspected that the king was her father and she was the rightful heir to the Kingdom of the Undine. Yes, there’s also a little romantic intrigue because of Serena’s inability to express her love for Kai in the open but that’s sort of a background to the still-simmering tensions between werewolves and the Undine. The way Serena resolves the conflict is brilliant, if a little messy and while the book ends on another cliffhanger it’s nowhere near as dramatic as the cliffhanger of the first book.
If you enjoyed The Rising I think you’ll enjoy The Betrayed just as much, if not more. It’s a great second book that doesn’t really drag on and on because of how Terra Harmony makes you care about her characters. You really do worry about what happens to them and Serena is a very memorable character in her own right. Basically, if you read and enjoyed the first book you need to pick up this second book. You won’t regret it and you’ll be just as eager as I am for the third and final book.
I give this book 5/5 stars.