The Black Key by Amy Ewing

the-black-keyTitle: The Black Key
Author: Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: October 4th, 2016
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)

Quick Look: A solid conclusion to an enjoyable series. I really liked the fantasy elements that were introduced in the second book and continued in this one. I never really found myself in love with Ash and Violet, but I thought there was a little more to their relationship in this book. The external conflicts in this book were hit and miss, but I found myself interested in how everything would come together.The summary of The Black Key from Goodreads:

For too long, Violet and the people of the outer circles of the Lone City have lived in service to the royalty of the Jewel. But now the secret society known as the Black Key is preparing to seize power.

And while Violet knows she is at the center of this rebellion, she has a more personal stake in it—her sister, Hazel, has been taken by the Duchess of the Lake. Now, after fighting so hard to escape the Jewel, Violet must do everything in her power to return to save not only Hazel, but the future of the Lone City.

What I Liked:

The fantasy elements were even more involved and important in this novel. They have truly become a part of the characters and I loved that. It’s no longer about discovering this power; it’s about pushing those powers and using them to better the world. The characters have discovered a new part of themselves and treat their powers not as a gift, but as just another part of them, as they would their arms or legs.

I also liked the development as far as conflict and plot. The Black Key society is fighting back, wanting to make changes that will hopefully make the world a better, more equal place. They’re disrupting the order of the world, challenging the status quo. Usually I want a little more fight when it comes to conflicts like this, but I felt like the clashes in this novel worked. Instead of many little battles that hopefully help the good guys reach their goal, there’s more focus on the development and use of society’s systems to fight against the Jewel.

I had a problem with stereotypical characters in the first novel. I felt like they were a little to stiff and could use more development. That issue was mostly resolved by this book, with some stereotypical situations reversed. Instead of the main guy having the power and worrying for the safety of the girl, it’s reversed. Violet has the power and wants to keep Ash stored away safely, away from danger. While still falling into stereotypical identities, the reversal of the stereotypes was nice.

What I Didn’t Like:

I wasn’t entirely sure why the story had to take place back inside the Jewel. Aspects of it (which I don’t want to go into details about to avoid spoilers) made sense. Certain things could not have happened had Violet not placed herself back into the Duchess of the Lake’s household, but I just never really understood the point of it. Hazel is involved, but she doesn’t place enough of a role to completely justify it.

I’d Recommend To:

As a whole, the series is a decent one. It’s not the best fantasy series I’ve read this year, but it did draw me in and give me a few days of enjoyment.

You can purchase The Black Key here:

Amazon
Audible
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound

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