This book! Holy shit, THIS BOOK! I must have changed my rating for it at least 5 times. After sleeping on it, I knew that even if there were things that happened that I wasn't happy about, I still couldn't rate this anything less than 5 absolutely stellar stars.
What are some words that I'd use to describe this series? Brilliant, Erotic, Dark and Captivating are just some of the few that come to mind.
The Mistress takes off right where the cliffhanger in The Prince left off, and brings us to the conclusion of a series that has captivated and enthralled us from the very first page of the very first book.
I know that no review I can ever write will do the book or the absolutely fucking brilliant writing in it justice. But the best advise I can give to those about to read or even those that have read it already and are not familiar with chess, is to familiarize yourself with it. Trust me! Everything will make so much more sense. So in the hopes of clearing a few things up, since I knew a total of nilch about chess when I delved into it, I'll try to explain some things in my review.
The ultimate objective of the game is to capture the opponents king.
The book is told in several players' POV. There is The King, The Queen, The Pawn, The Rook, and The Knight.
It is also broken up into parts; Capture, En Passant, Castling, Promotion, and Checkmate.
"Because there is nothing I wouldn't do to protect you, Eleanor. Nothing I wouldn't do to help you. And nothing I wouldn't do to save you. Nothing."
Soren does was the one character that never got a POV in these books. In The Mistress everything we learn about Soren is garnered from his conversations with Grace and flashback stories told by Nora.
I hate a love/hate relationship with Kingsley in the previous books. Part of it, I absolutely loved him and his humor. Parts of it I thought he came off as a whiny brat. I absolutely adored Kingsley in this book; his personality and sense of humor, and his complete and utter devotion to those he cares for. Kingsley makes it his mission to rescue Nora from the clutches of his long-presumed-dead sister.
"I get her out."
"You and what army?"
"I don't need an army."
"What, are you the French James Bond or something?"
"Of course not. James Bond is vanilla."
The book gives the reader alternating POV's, with a few new players added to the mix.
There's Wes, The Knight:
I adored Wesley in the other 3 books, but he drove me batshit in this one. His constant refusal to understand Nora's lifestyle got old real quick. He came off as judgmental and immature little boy for most of the book.
Grace, The Rook:
Grace, I think for me, was the odd-one out as far as characters go. I really disliked her for most of the book, and ESPECIALLY in the end.
But upon further reflection, I can't even dwell on that anymore. After I googled The Rook and its moves in chess it put EVERYTHING into perspective for me. This is the absolutely FUCKING BRILLIANCE of Tiffany Reisz. There is not one wasted word, sentence, paragraph, or chapter. Everything is linked together. The character (chess piece) roles, the chess strategy names, EVERYTHING!
Laila, The Pawn
Laila, Soren's niece, was a new character that was introduced in this book. I had a feeling the entire time of where her role was leading, and found out I was right. I can understand the direction of this, ultimately, I felt it was a fitting conclusion.
Nora, The Queen
Nora, the infamous Nora, I fucking LOVED Nora.
I'm at a loss for words here. Simply put?
When I finished this book, I'm pretty sure I had a day long rant about the ending (Thanks, Jamie for being my ultimate ranting buddy *waves*) Thank God I read this in a BR with the some of my fave girls, so I had some outlet for all my feels. I'm pretty sure I would have gone crazy otherwise. Oh and Amy, girl if it hadn't been for you pointing out the chess reference...I doubt I would have ever thought to do it. So thanks! ;)
Ultimately, though the ending was not the perfect HEA you would envision for a book, I though it was very fitting for this series. It was never a romance novel, so a typical romantic and perfectly wrapped up HEA would not have been accurate, fitting, or fair to these characters.
I'll be honest, I HATED it at first. But when I talked it out with my GR friends, I felt slightly better. What really sealed it for me, was understanding the Chess Strategies that broke up this book.
(as described on chess.com- like I said, I was clueless in chess)
This move allows two important things all in one move: get your king to safety, and get the rook into the game.
Interesting to note that this was the part that Grace finally went from simply being someone that talked to Soren and was just there, to finally taking action. When Soren goes to give himself up to ML, Grace knows that she has to act in order to save him.
Pawns have a special ability and that is that if a pawn reaches the other side of the board it can become any other chess piece (called promotion). A pawn may be promoted to any piece. A pawn is usually promoted to a queen. Only pawns may be promoted.
Interesting to note that in the part of the book titled Promotion, Laila gets together with Wes (the King of Kentucky), essentially becoming the Queen Of Kentucky)
Speaks for itself, really.
I really thought this was the perfect ending to an absolutely phenomenal series. Though left with a few questions in the end Kingsley's bastard son? I hate that it leaves us hanging without having this be confirmed I have come to accept it.
On a final note,
Tiffany Reisz, woman, YOU.ARE.FUCKING.BRILLIANT!
If you haven't read this series yet, what the hell are you waiting for?!!
Links to my reviews on the rest of the books in the series:
**ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
For more reviews visit: Dirty Girl Romance Book Blog