Posted in Reviews

Review: The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae

The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae (sequel to The Kinder Poison)

Recommended: sure
For continuing the series, for a lot of character development



After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While crown prince Jet navigates the looming threat of war, she’s content to simply figure out what the future holds for them. But they’re dealt a devastating blow when prince Kasta returns with a shocking claim: he’s the true winner of the Crossing and the rightful heir, and he bears the gods’ mark as proof. Even more surprising–he’s not the only one.

Somehow, Zahru possesses the very same mark, giving her equal right to the throne. The last thing she wants is to rule beside her would-be executioner, but she can’t let Orkena fall into his merciless hands. So Zahru, Jet, and their allies must race against the clock to find a way to stop Kasta, because once he’s crowned, there’s no telling what horrors he’ll unleash to win the war.

Zahru will do whatever it takes to keep Kasta from taking the throne…but to stop a villain, is she willing to become one herself?


This got points for being a really interesting character line, which I couldn’t predict at all (in a really good way!). This lost points for having objectively very little actually happen for most of the book. I didn’t really notice while reading it, but looking back I’m realizing how the plot was pretty sparse. Especially in comparison to the first which was obviously pretty packed with action, the sequel is a lot more focused on the characters and the way they’re growing and changing.

Kasta and Zahru are the mains in this one, so if you’re all about that ship, you’ll have a little boat to try to sail your dreams on — but I won’t give anything away. 😉 Jet is also involved, but by reasons of plot (which will be very clear within about the first chapter of the book) he’s a bit… put to the side. It’s remarkably engaging to read about how Zahru and Kasta are changing as they work to find their places after everything that has happened. Whether it’s interactions between them, with friends, with foreign royalty, random guards…. it was so well done! Even though earlier I mentioned that not much really seemed to happen, it was still quite a captivating read.

We do get some tastes of new kinds of magic in this book, so if you were hoping to learn more about the way their world works, this will not disappoint!

The ending in this one was fascinating and not at all expected and is one I’m still thinking about days after finishing the book. (Finished in two days by the way, because I just couldn’t stop reading!) The strangest thing is that I’m not actually sure if this is the end of the series or if there will be more, based on the end of the book. I HOPE there’s more, but the way it left off was… well. You’ll just have to read it! 🙂


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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