Series: The Iron Seas #4.7 - 4.8
Genres: Historical, Paranormal Romance, Steampunk
Published by InterMix on June 3, 2014
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Reviewed by: Julia
The Kraken King, Part VII: The Kraken King and the Empress’s Eyes
Published May 27th 2014; 110 pages
In the imperial city, nothing escapes the attention of the empress’s spies. After a visit from an old friend rekindles her every fear, Zenobia must decide whether to trust Ariq with her heart—and the Kraken King must decide whether he can ever let her go.
But when danger invades their lovers’ sanctuary, Ariq and Zenobia will have to put aside their troubled emotions. Outwitting their enemies and the Empress will be no easy feat. Luckily, they have a few allies waiting in the wings…
The Kraken King, Part VIII: The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure
Published June 3rd 2014; 82 pages
Arriving in Krakentown with their enemies in hot pursuit, Zenobia doesn’t know how they can even hope to win. Being terrified brings forth an undeniable truth: she loves Ariq and will do whatever it takes to stand by him.
But as their adversaries appear on the horizon, they realize that not all is lost. Drawing on the power of the terrible war machine, Ariq, Zenobia, and the entire town must put their lives on the line to protect what they love…
With these last two installments of THE KRAKEN KING serial, Ariq and Zenobia face their greatest challenges and darkest moments. While adventure through exotic lands has permeated all installments of this story, here at the end readers must confront the titanic forces arrayed against our hero and heroine. Both their relationship and their bodies will be tested, loved ones placed in danger, and any hope of a happy future put in question.
Part 7 in particular contains the "darkest before the dawn" portion of the story, making it a more difficult read regardless of personal preference. My lower appreciate, however, was due to our hero and heroine having a little more interpersonal drama and misunderstandings than I would have liked. Nothing unbelievable for their established characters, and Brook resolves the personal side of things pretty quickly, but I have enough of an aversion to "big misunderstanding" tropes that I wanted to skip some of Ariq's and Zenobia's scenes. Luckily, the adventure and physical danger dominates far more of Part 7 than the that one romance trope. By the end of Part 7, there were several people who I really wanted to see torn to pieces for their actions. Part 8 certainly delivers. While political realities dictate that some get off relatively scott free, others received satisfying, fist-pumping-the-air comeuppances. Ariq's politics and maneuvering are in full effect, managing the herculean task of carving out a happily-ever-after despite geopolitical hostility.
With these last two installments in the serial button up much of the adventure side of things, the end result is a satisfying, believable ending for a couple that deserves nothing less. Taken as a whole, THE KRAKEN KING will be an impressive and cohesive addition to the Iron Seas series. Read individually, these parts have made us apart of something special.