I thought I was kicking myself for not reading this series earlier, but now I'm REALLY kicking myself. It's pretty rare that I find series where I not only love the first book, but the second as well (I generally hate sequels. They almost never live up to the first book), and so far I am absolutely loving this entire universe/story/series. But that cliffhanger at the very end was just cruel. I did not appreciate that one bit.
Darrow has managed to secure himself a spot as a Peerless Scarred, a far cry from the Red miner that he once was. But when he loses his sponsor, making him without a contract or protection, and with the Bellonas breathing down his neck. What follows next is a mass of deception, lies, and betrayal that will call into question everything that Darrow thinks he knows about the Sons of Ares, the Golds, and his friends. Will Darrow come out on top? Or will he succumb to the rising threats against him?
Reviews of books this good are honestly my least favorite to write, because explaining why I liked this book is like trying to explain why I love chocolate (answer: I just do. I can't help it). But I guess my favorite thing about this series is that it just sucks you in and refuses to let you go, even for a second. Even if all you want to do is sleep. Despite the fact that I actually don't like Darrow that much as a character, I am for some reason very attached to him and to his story, and to his success. I still think he is slightly a jerk, and a little too arrogant, but I still found myself rooting for him and cringing when he experienced a setback and was humiliated. I actually probably like secondary characters like Mustang and Sevro (Sevro!!) more than I do Darrow, now that I think about it.
But let's just talk about that ending for a second. In non-spoiler terms, of course. That was just insanely cruel. You can't have this huge action scene and then *boom* major cliffhanger oops the book ended too bad. That's rude. I was going to read the third book anyway there was no need to force it on me.
Would 100/10 recommend this book.