A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One poor choice shouldn’t undo a thousand good ones.Grey
Oh, hello there! I haven’t written anything in months, but I need to share my thoughts on this book before losing them to another slump. 2021 has been a bad reading year for me. That is if you only consider the numbers. But quality-wise, I’ve been on a roll. The three books I’ve finished are all enjoyable, and this one is probably the most remarkable.
A Vow So Bold and Deadly continues the breakdown of Rhen and Grey’s relationship. They were once inseparable because of the curse, united in their love for the kingdom of Emberfall. But now, their new rivalry might cause the downfall of the very thing they seek to protect. Harper is still a prominent figure in the novel, and she reprises her role as Agent of Reconciliation. And let’s not forget Lia Mara, the girl who sank the Harper-Grey ship before it even had a chance to sail. We get to see each character’s perspective, making it hard for readers to pick a side. It’s like asking a bookworm, “What’s your favorite book?” In this war between Emberfall and Sylh Shallow, it’s almost impossible to play favorites.
I adored the Harper-Rhen banter in this book. It was funny how they simultaneously resented and missed each other. After Harper helped Grey escape Rhen’s torturous clutches, her romance with Rhen became the epitome of “It’s complicated.” So much was left unsaid between them, and they had to be brave enough to break the silence before it swallowed them completely. Miscommunication is so annoying in real life but can be very entertaining in fiction. Brigid Kemmerer excels at writing character conflicts. Harper and Rhen’s arguments seemed petty at first, but the reasons for their pettiness were actually profound. Every instance of honesty and vulnerability built up to a well-deserved and highly anticipated resolution.
On the other hand, Grey and Lia Mara were on cloud nine. If I remember correctly, they didn’t have a single fight in the book, which was a bit strange. Were they simply so compatible, or were they blind to each other’s flaws? I’m biased as a Harper-Grey shipper. Still, Grey and Lia Mara shouldn’t have had such an idyllic romance. A little saltiness could have made their sweetness more…palatable, like salted caramel. I’m sure that I’m not the only one with conflicted feelings about their love story. If Grey had stayed single throughout the trilogy, perhaps I would have been happier. If Harper couldn’t have him, no one should! Hahaha!
Speaking of the Harper-Grey dynamic, it remained fascinating despite being platonic. Harper immediately sought Grey’s help when Rhen’s life was in grave danger, and it didn’t matter that they were on opposite sides of a war. She genuinely believed that even though Grey wasn’t the ever-so-loyal commander of the Royal Guard, he still cared for Rhen. While stuck in the Friend Zone, Harper was uncannily good at getting what she wanted from Grey. She knew him well, so she knew what words would crumble his stoic facade. As futile as it was, a part of me hoped that they would end up together. Lia Mara herself admitted that Harper and Grey could have been more than friends!
Harper’s powers of persuasion resulted in a bittersweet conclusion. It was satisfying because none of my favorite characters died. However, why and how was the Enchantress so powerful? And she was supposed to be dead already, so why bring her back to haunt Rhen? Most of the time, the Enchantress seemed too invulnerable to be believable, her motivations quite shallow. And worst of all, she always appeared during Harper and Rhen’s sweet moments, like, what a great way to ruin the mood! Ugh, I even don’t like writing about her. That’s how annoying she was.
Overall, A Vow So Bold and Deadly was a BOLD and almost DEADLY end to an excellent story of love, friendship, and magic. I’m tempted to VOW to read more books this year, but I don’t want to pressure myself. If anything, I can promise to review another book/series that’s as good as this one. Stay safe, and happy reading!