Of Daggers & Deception


"It felt as though the bottom of the world had just crumbled beneath us and we were left in darkness."


Warning: Of Daggers and Deception is the second novel in the Duchy of Athens series. This review contains spoiler information about the first novel, Of Sword and Shadow.


synopsis

Eleven years after the battle for Thebes our trio of mercenaries has found joy in the simple life of running a bathhouse. As the years have passed alliances have shifted and Greece remains an everchanging battlefield. For this reason Rasheed, Gillen, and Eudocia have remained ever watchful and weary of unknown visitors. One day a group of Venetian strangers come seeking to hire the group. The answer is a swift and firm no. However, some individuals refuse to take no for an answer. When one of his friends is abducted Rasheed is left with no choice but to join the Venetians, including the beautiful, clever, and mysterious Cecilia.


thoughts & feelings

I feel like I have been waiting FOR-EV-ER for this book. In reality I probably only waited a few weeks between finishing Of Sword and Shadow and starting Of Daggers and Deception. It was just as amazing and addictive as the first book. You will never regret adding this to your bookshelf.


In my review for Of Sword and Shadow I mentioned that A.L. Sowards had done a wonderful job describing what life was like in Thebes and how each of the different groups interacted. The same is true for Of Daggers and Deception. A few new groups have entered the stage and I was really worried about keeping alliances straight and remembering which characters belonged to which groups. I truly love how A.L. Sowards wrote these sections of the book. Rasheed, the main character of this story, often thinks through or discusses these alliances and how different groups would benefit from certain scenarios. For example, one of the main mysteries is who has abducted "the friend" (not giving anything away here). I love how we get to use our knowledge from Of Sword and Shadow but also gain new insight from Rasheed as he thinks through the possibilities. We get to learn about how each of the groups interacts in this same way. Instead of just presenting the information it is given in bits and pieces through other characters as we read. It kind of felt like the game Clue. As you read you get to collect little bits of information and see if you can solve the mystery before Rasheed does. I didn't...just in case you were wondering.


Now let's talk about all of the feel goods, aka love. Can I just begin by saying that I LOVED and still love the Gillen and Eudocia's love story from Of Sword and Shadow. I also love that Rasheed's venture to falling in love is so different. At the beginning of this novel we quickly learn that Rasheed has not had an easy venture in love. With his immediate family, extended family, and even the romantic kind of love. However, that doesn't make him cold hearted and cruel. I love that he's a little hesitant and a little unsure of if he is ready to fall in love again. And if he does can he handle the consequences of not having that love returned? One of my favorite parts of his love story is the mystery factor. As he learns more about his "leading lady" so do we. Again bringing it back to the Clue factor. Is she a good guy or a bad guy? I definitely had a few of the "awe that's so sweet" moments alongside the "What! How dare she!" moments.


Lastly, I loved seeing this story from Rasheed's viewpoint. I was a little unsure of how I felt about not hearing from Eudocia but quickly forgot my hesitancies. To me, Rasheed is hope personified. He never gives up, in any situation, even when the odds are stacked against him. I loved seeing him fight to hold on to hope and bring others hope.


book tags

Steam Level: clean, kissing

Language: clean

Trigger Warnings: violence, death, blood, discussions about religion


book information

Title: Of Daggers and Deceptions

Author: A.L. Sowards

Series: Duchy of Athens #2

Rating: 5/5



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