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Clash of Kingdoms #2

Ever the Brave

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Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.
After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she'd like to, and now he's insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.

456 pages, Hardcover

First published December 5, 2017

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About the author

Erin Summerill

7 books1,039 followers
Erin Calabio Summerill claims Hawaii as her ancestral land, and England as her birthplace. She grew up as an Air Force brat on bases in Hawaii, California and England. After graduating with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University, Erin taught high school English in Hawaii while starting a career as a professional photographer and aspiring to become a novelist. Erin's photography has received critical acclaim, and has been featured in national and international publications. When she isn't capturing portraits, Erin is writing. Her YA fantasy, EVER THE HUNTED, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, was short-listed for the Beehive Book Award and is a Tome Con award winner. Erin and her family moved from Hawaii and settled in the Rocky Mountains where she now works as a novelist.

You can follower her on instagram: @erinsummerill
Or twitter: @erinsummerill

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Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
259 reviews4,901 followers
December 5, 2017
Happy Release Day!! Wooo you guys - this book was SOOOO good. This is a spoiler free review! (Though there will spoilers for book 1)

Omg - this was fantastic. I adored the first book, though I'll admit it was a little slow at times. The world was so pretty and Britta was such a likeable heroine that I didn't even care about the pacing. But this book? FAST. Perfect pacing. Pretty much non-stop. Not to mention SO MANY FEELS that I am still just.. I don't even know..

I can't talk too much about the plot aside from what the synopsis mentions, but you know the thing that happens at the end of book one? Well yep, that's kind of a major plot point for this book. No, it wasn't too good to be true. When I read that last page, I was losing my mind and that's pretty much why I was BEGGING for an ARC of this book (by the way, a HUGE thanks to HMH books for sending me this copy and saving my sanity!)

So, on that note (and as you can tell by the synopsis), Britta now has this strange connection with the king that no one can explain. She's hiding it from Cohen, but the king himself knows. DRAMA ENSUES. Not to mention, everyone is in disarray and trying to track down the woman who had the king under her spell / thus controlling him from the first book. There are lots of plot twists and fun turns and wow, I was highly entertained. It was difficult to sit this book down.

Also, this one introduces new POVs and I enjoyed them all SO MUCH. I don't want to give too much away since we're still a ways away from the release date, but I was so pleasantly surprised.

I will say this. Those of you who are hoping to get to know the king, well, you will have your needs met. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH I CANNOT EXPRESS IT WITH WORDS PROPERLY. SMOL KING ALERT.

*breathes deeply*

Alright, continuing on. I just adored Britta, and no, not just because her nickname is my nickname and we have the same hair color. She was fierce, believable, flawed, and truly a pleasure to have as a heroine. I loved watching her struggle with some emotional/moral conflicts.

Cohen, on the other hand, I went back and forth on. I found him a little lacking in the first book, but he surprised me in this one. To be completely honest, he drove me crazy for a good chunk of the book because of his protective / overbearingness he has towards Britta, but without spoiling anything, I did appreciate his character arc, and by the end, he had grown on me a good bit. I was suprised at how much I ended up really loving him by the end!

As far as the romance, I'm going nuts over here because I can't say much without major spoilers (literally NOTHING) and I'm in agony since I can't talk about it a;lksjfa;lksjfaldkjf
Ugh but I'm not sure how I feel about the end. On one hand, I think Erin made the right choice, and on the other, I'm... I can't. I'll get emotional. I can't talk about it. Let's just say I was surprised time and time again. I also had like 3 ships going at one time so don't talk to me. Wait no, talk to me. if you've read it, PLEASE TALK TO ME.

I was worried about certain people being used as plot devices, but now that I know what I know, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm also SO EXCITED because there's another book in this world and ERIN, GIRL, I AM SO READY FOR THIS.

If you're looking for a well-rounded story in a gorgeous fantasy setting with lots of emotional drama/conflict, this is for you. The writing was just lovely as always, and my gosh, buy yourself the hardcovers because look at that design.

My advice is to savor the world, savor the characters, and come to me crying afterwards because I still need solace.


Pre review:

I don't know how I feel right now. Part of me is happy and part of me is sad. Like what - how am I supposed to just... I don't know. I don't knowwwwww. If I say anymore then that, it would be a spoiler for sure. I haven't decided on the amount of stars because I just need to recover and think.

This was an emotional journey, beautifully written, and I'm a huge Erin Summerill fan now for sure.

Erin, if you're out there, PLEASE tell me if there's a possibility of getting a book about a certain character. I'm sure you can guess who I'm talking about. Like I really need this. My heart is bleeding.

(Full review to come closer to the release date! And a huge thank you to HMH books for sending me this copy!)

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Erin.
Author 7 books1,039 followers
November 3, 2017
After writing a debut book, and seeing it go out into the world, finishing the second book was harder than I thought it would be. But I went with my gut, and tried to tell the truest story I could for these characters. And I feel like it's one of the best books I've ever written.
I know that not everyone will feel the same. And that's all right. I'm just grateful for anyone who will give this series a chance.
I poured my heart into this book, so if you do like it, I would love to hear your COMMENTS. Thank you so much for your support!
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
1,001 reviews782 followers
April 23, 2018
It’s definitely a far better book than it’s predecessor. But it did leave something more to be desired, it just felt like there were a lot of things that could have been explored and developed further both in terms of story and characters. And it felt like those things were sacrificed for the sake of dedicating more time to a rather unnecessary love triangle.

That being said I think what saved this book more me is that it was thankfully told from multiple PoV, namely Britta, Cohen and Aodren. I do not think I would have made it through this book if it was told only for Britta's PoV like the first book was. Aodren was definitely my favorite PoV, with Britta and Cohen about tied for second.

Britta - The heroine
Cohen - The love interest
Aodren - The king they all need aka a precious cinnamon roll I love.
Lirra - A newly introduced huntress. Her I like, she does what she has to. Still not entirely sold on her being this great hunter/soldier, but at least she’s held her own for most of the book and she certainly helped Cohen out.

I am pleased to say that we finally got to see a bit more of Britta in action, and while I still do not think her skills warrant the high praise she received in the first book, she is passable.

One thing that did not change was my opinion of Britta and Cohen has a couple. To me, they're about as interesting as white bread. My problem is this, most of Cohen and Britta’s love story all happened off-screen. I did not get to watch them fall in love. They simply were already in love by the time we met them in the first book. It was written as though it was a fact. It was not a journey. The typical -
they’ve known each other their whole lives blah blah fell in love as young teens etc. Cohen left Britta for reasons he did not explain, they reunite, Cohen leaves again, Britta is left uncertain again. Wash rinse repeat. I do not mind either of them as characters but I simply did not care about them as a couple.

I honestly found myself shipping Britta and Aodren. Because we got to watch that relationship develop and grow. And in contrast to Cohen who kept making choices for Britta, without telling her everything she needed to know, Aodren respected Britta's independence and her right know, her right to decide for herself. But I knew from the dedication page alone that this story was never going to truly explore the possibility of them. However, I appreciate their friendship nevertheless.

One relationship that did not get enough spotlight was Gillian and Lief. They are so subtle and cute. I hope they get some scenes in the upcoming Aodren spin-off. Gillian was an excellent friend to Britta as well, which she certainly needed with all that was going on around her. As they say, you don’t need a lot of friends just a good one.

The main issue for me with this book is I just never connected or related to Britta or Cohen. But overall, I liked the book enough and the writing is fine. The world is reasonably interesting, so I would not mind more stories in this world. Hence why I am looking forward to the Aodren spin-off. This book to me is somewhere between a 2 and 3 stars. It was decent but feel no need to rush out and get myself a hardcopy for my shelf.
Profile Image for Anniebananie.
537 reviews400 followers
May 21, 2021
Kurz vorweg zur Erklärung: im englischen sind 3 Bücher erschienen, im deutschen nur 2. Allerdings muss ich sagen, dass sich die Geschichte nach diesem Buch auch sehr zu Ende erzählt anfühlt, also kein Cliffhanger oder große offene Fragen.

Unter dem Aspekt, dass es aber nunmal ein zweiter Band ist, die gefühlt immer einen Durchhängen in einer Trilogie darstellen, war das Buch mega gut. Die Charaktere haben sich alle weiter entwickelt und allein weil dieses Buch aus 3 Perspektiven erzählt wurde, hat man tiefere Einblicke in die Gedankenwelten von Tessa, Cohen und Aodren gewinnen können.

Die Geschichte nahm schnell an Fahrt auf und war für mich durchweg spannend. Es gab eine Menge Action, auch wenn ich mir so manchen Showdown noch etwas dramatischer gewünscht hätte. Die Idee und das Worldbuilding fand ich nach wie vor genial. Allein dieses ganze Wald-Setting war irgendwie genau meins.

Kritikpunkt meinerseits ist das unnötige Love-Triangle. Die Geschichte wäre auch prima ohne dieses Drama ausgekommen, aber dieses Trope ist nunmal weit verbreitet in Jugendfantasy-Büchern. Das und die Tatsache, dass mir so manches Problem dann doch zu schnell gelöst/abgehandelt wurde, führt zu dem einen Stern Abzug in der Bewertung.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,719 reviews857 followers
November 15, 2017
My curse has struck again. Another hyped series, another unpopular opinion.

What let this story down was the hyperfocus of the romantic drama. If I had cared more about Britta and her love life, maybe this would not have been so disappointing. But I didn’t care. At all. I wanted more about the politics of the world; seeing these two kingdoms trying to combat systemic discrimination. I was definitely not here for yet another unnecessary love triangle. I was not here for the angst or the repetitive cliches. I still cannot believe that there was an honest to god ‘cuddling naked for warmth when the other LI walks in’ scene. I have read that scenario so many times before and I’m completely over it. It was the fact that those sort of scenes took preference over the scenes detailing the actual rebellion and kidnapping mystery - the supposed focal point of the plot - which made it so difficult to push through to the end. The fact that the entire last quarter of the book rushed through all of the important scenes and, instead, focused on concluding the love triangle was the final straw.

I did like that the story was told in multiple perspectives. I wish that I had been more invested in the characters themselves though. Britta and Cohen irritated the heck out of me in particular. They were jealous and petty, constantly riling each other with the same dumb jumping to conclusion nonsense they did in the first book. I was excited to see more of Aodren but again, we focused more on his growing relationship with Britta than his duties as the king which was not what I hoped for.

Overall? This series had potential. If more of a focus had been placed on the politics of the brewing war or the rebellion against Chaneller discrimination, I would have been onboard. The romantic drama, particularly the love triangle angst, was not my cup of tea and truly soured my experience. I struggled to get invested in this story or the characters and I am just glad that the series is finished. I am not sure what made this series so hyped but I’d much rather recommend The Wish Granter or Frostblood if you want romance-heavy YA fantasy with some politics that is well-written and engaging.

Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sara Larson.
Author 9 books1,876 followers
November 29, 2017
Another fantastic novel by Erin Summerill! I've been so lucky to have read many of her works over the years, and to have the privilege of seeing her talent and skill as a storyteller shine through more and more as she's grown as a writer. EVER THE BRAVE is everything you want -- action, swoon-worthy romance, intrigue, and of course her signature writing style that made EVER THE HUNTED so wonderful. This sequel is just the book you've been wanting after finishing the first book. Trust me when I tell you to run--don't walk--to nab your copy of this book when it comes out next week!!
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,405 reviews1,853 followers
December 1, 2017
This is probably going to be a really shoddy review, and I feel extra bad because this is for an ARC, but I'm honestly just so frustrated by this read that I don't know how to articulate my feelings in anything more than rant form.

Going into EVER THE BRAVE was concerning based on how the plot twisted near the end of book one. I had hoped that Summerill wouldn't introduce a love triangle element but alas.. she did. It was a situation complicated as a result of some of Britta's magic but still. It felt like an excuse; not only for the added drama but to give us two extra POVs, after EVER THE HUNTED's single POV, most of which felt like unnecessary filler to show how one character basically spent the whole book running in circles and chasing his tail.

Frustration was the name of the game, really. The bit of hopeful potential joy I got out of the first book in the Clash of Kingdoms duology was totally missing here. I felt that too much time was spent on things that we didn't need (angst over dresses and a forced friendship between our main girl and a handmaiden, which the author spends most of the book convincing us exists but is never actually felt because.. why) vs actually fleshing out more of the clash between these two kingdoms. Despite the conflicts I never actually felt like it was that big of a deal. Everything felt too small scale, too focuses on personal dynamics, the sense of grandness never came through. Maybe because the king was a doofus. I swear, his POV might actually have been worse than Cohen's and he was the one running over the border eight million times chasing wrong information.

So much isn't ever really explained. Such as with Phelia, for example. This was a reveal that wasn't much of a reveal, I expected it after the midway point of the first book, and I felt her presence was really underutilized. I had so many questions about the why of her role, her power, etc, and we get no answers. Too much word count spent fighting off hypothermia I guess.

Also, I would've liked to spent more time on the actual showdown these two books were building towards instead of just brief mustache twirling 'I'm Super Evil' moments and then, boom, you're dead. Which kind of mirrors my feelings about these bawse lady Channelers from the Guild. We meet them, most of them are bitchy, and then boom, treaty, ending, done. That being said I'm glad everything is boom, dead, boom, done, after only two books because I couldn't have trudged through another.

I was unhappy enough about this read during the middle to 75% portion that I was thinking this would be a one-star but there was enough maturity in the writing, and even some of the actions of the characters (but not Aoden, never Aoden, wtf, "I'm pretty sure she's with Cohen but I wonder if she'd like me.." are you fucking serious, and don't get me started on poor little rich prince boy and his woe about being an outsider) that I'm willing to bump up.

I see a spinoff is in the works and honestly I'm not surprised by the pairing but I have no interest in anything further from this world at this point.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Stacy.
169 reviews418 followers
January 23, 2018
No spoilers in this review of Ever the Brave! (There will, however, be minor spoilers for Ever the Hunted, the first book in this series.) I liked it! I give it 3.5 stars. It was a fitting conclusion to the Clash of Kingdoms series, although I enjoyed the first book a little more. My favorite part is this series feels like true YA, fit for even young teen readers.

In this installment, Britta and Cohen struggle to help Malam recover from the mistakes made in their former ruler’s regime, especially the oppression of those who wield Channeler magic. Britta’s magical bond—which tied her to Cohen after healing him years ago—was severed at the end of Ever the Hunted. She’s now bonded to King Aodren after healing him from the wound necessary to break a long-standing Spiriter bond.

Britta and Cohen spend much of the book apart as Cohen performs his bounty hunter duties. He is in Shaerdan searching for Phelia, the Spiriter who had a hold on Aodren in book 1. Cohen soon runs into Lirra, the Archtraitor’s daughter, once again. He ends up helping her investigate the recent kidnappings of many Channeler girls, all the while continuing to search for Phelia.

Back in Malam, Britta learns new information about Phelia after saving a man this woman attacked. With the help of King Aodren, Britta begins a journey of her own, trying to learn more about her magical abilities as well as her past.

Ever the Brave asks two main questions. Is there any way for Aodren to unite his divided kingdom? And will Britta and Cohen ever find a way to have a relationship, especially with the obstacles that keep getting in their way?

My biggest gripe is I got frustrated by Britta’s decision-making process at the end of the book. It didn’t feel in keeping with her character development in this duology and seemed to just be a device to create tension. And I felt like Ever the Brave often lacked the grit needed to make me feel truly tied to the conflicts and truly worried about the future of Malam and its people.

Additionally, quite a few of the relationship scenes felt like typical YA tropes. We keep reading YA books for a reason, though, right? We love many of these tropes! 😉 The other positives? Summerill’s prose is easy to read. The kingdoms she built are quite vivid in my mind. And I like the characters she created. Britta and Cohen are my favorites, but I enjoyed getting to know Aodren better as he also had POV chapters in this second installment.

I guess more than anything, what I’m trying to say is this book seemed to be on the young side of YA. So while it was good instead of great for me, it’s exactly what I think is missing from many current YA authors and their new releases. Bad language was kept to a minimum, and the adult situations were limited to fairly innocent interactions. So I absolutely recommend this series to young YA readers. I am so excited to see an author putting out new material that is fit for the younger end of the YA audience!

P.S. THIS IS A MINOR SPOILER FOR EVER THE BRAVE, SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!! Summerill recently tweeted about her next release, a standalone about King Aodren and Lirra called Once a King. I read this tweet before starting Ever the Brave and was surprised that I didn’t see much build-up for her next book toward the end of this one. Yet I’m excited to see what direction it will go, especially since Summerill said it’s probably her favorite book yet. 🙂

Read all our reviews at here.
And check out our full book recaps at here.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
May 20, 2018
A pretty interesting sequel to Ever the Hunted. Now it definitely had it's flaws but the fight between the two kingdom was highly entertaining. It intrigued me enough to want to dive into the third book, whenever that comes out.

Cohen is off doing his own thing for most of the book. Then there's Britta who is developing a stronger connection with someone and then a little bomb was dropped. Not literally, but her mom shows up and things just kind of escalate from bad to worse to really freaking bad. If you catch my drift, shit hit the fan a LOT.

Besides all of that Britta grows more and more into her powers which got me pretty hooked. The whole magic part of this book was probably the thing got me flipping through the pages the most. The romance part was okay. I don't really like love triangles so I didn't really look forward to any of that or really pay attention. I didn't really care about who she was with - unless it's Cohen.

Overall, it was an interesting book. Yes, it had it's boring or slow parts because the pacing seemed a bit off throughout the book. If it didn't throw in a love triangle I probably would've loved the book a lot more. I did enjoy the character growth in this book, I can't decide who grew more: Britta or Cohen. Either way, I liked the book enough that I can't wait to dive into the third book.
Profile Image for n a t.
393 reviews184 followers
January 5, 2018
ok that ending was adorable!

the only downside for me, is the villains. I mean I know their reasons but there’s not enough interactions for me to believe they are legit. I can’t hate them, if I don’t know them.

the rest was crazy good, I even slept late and woke up with a headache. thanks book. 👍🏼

and can we talk about Aodren. I mean as much as I love Cohen, Aodren was such a cinnamon bun. seriously I wanted to squeeze the life out of him with my hugs. <3
Profile Image for Michelle .
2,017 reviews230 followers
December 8, 2017
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
*Note: This is the second book in a series that needs to be read in order. If you are new to the series, you can check out my review of book one, Ever the Hunted HERE*

Ever the Brave is the second book in the young adult fantasy series, Clash of Kingdoms by Erin Summerill. I loved the first book in the series, ever the hunted, and I have to say I really enjoyed Ever the Brave as well! I found the story to be an excellent follow up novel to the first book. It was just as strong of a story. ever The Brave picks up shortly thereafter the events of the first book, so you do need to read this series in order.  There are lots of interesting aspects to touch on in Ever the Hunted- there is magic, romance, political intrigue and action and suspense. Plenty for any fan of fantasy.

One of the things I loved about Ever The Hunted was the interesting magic abilities found in some people. I remember wanting to explore those abilities more. To find out more about what kind of channeler Britta was and what she could do. And I am so happy to report that my wish was granted in Ever The Brave. If you remember what happened with the king and Britta as the end of the first book, you know that will certainly prove interesting. The king is much more of a main character in Ever the Brave, along with Britta and the wonderful Cohen.

Ever the Brave is told in multiple perspective between Britta and Cohen and I loved that we started out right from Cohen's point of view. Getting inside of his head and seeing his feelings for Britta as he is sent off on missions for the king helped me grow even closer to him. We also get to see the King's point of view in this book and darn it if I don't really like him as well. He certainly complicated things, but in a good way. I enjoyed seeing his point of view splashed throughout the story. And I am so happy to say that there is going to be a third book in this world. I don't want to spoil too much but I am really, really happy with how everything turned out! I love all of the characters! 

At the end of the last book, I was still a little undecided on some of the characters, and I do have my favorites  but I felt like I understood everyone so much better and I was overall really pleased with each and every one of them. Ever the Brave was a very satisfying read. We got to learn more about the magic and channeler's, we got lots of swoony moments and romance, tons of adventure and action and a really satisfying wrap up. Plus, another book! I love that because I am not ready to leave this world. I love it so much! Please write many more books Erin Summerill!!

Bottom line: If you are a fan of young adult fantasy books, Ever the Brave is one you should check out. It has a great quest style adventure, with lots of magic, romance, intrigue and a really cool world. I really enjoyed this one and I am looking forward to book three already!

This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
Profile Image for Chelsies Reading Escape.
631 reviews363 followers
October 25, 2019
In this conclusion to the Ever the Hunted Duology we try to figure out why girls with magical abilities are being taken from their homes. I didnt remember exactly what happened at the end of the first book so Im glad the author recapped some of the important events. The plot was intriguing, but the magic system was kind of disapointing since the main characters dont know much about magic we only get a small amount of information about it. This left the world building lacking but what I did learn about the magic was interesting.

Britta was a compelling character with her hunting and tracking skills. Trained by her father to be one of the best bounty hunters in the kingdom. Her wanting a quiet life in the woods minding her own buisness is something I can relate to. I would have loved more of the female friendships and less romance. I liked Lirra and Gillian, but I felt like we didnt get to explore their characters enough. I also enjoyed Liefs character and Im glad we got to see more of the antagonists in Ever the Brave. Now I personally dont mind love triangles, but I was especially happy when one was introduced in this book since I didnt like Cohen as a love interest.

Cohen wasnt a terrible character and I felt for him at times, but his relationship with Britta just rubbed me the wrong way. He forgot her birthday and left her behind when he knows thats not what she wanted. He's way too jealous and overprotective. I also wish he would have treated his brother Finn with more respect. Finn just had the sweetest personality. The King on the other hand had his flaws, but at least he considered letting Britta make her own decisions before Cohen convinced him otherwise. I also didnt like how the King kept Cohen too busy to visit Britta than went to visit Britta himself. That was pretty low if you ask me.

Surprisingly, Im happy with how everything worked out. Im still not a big fan of the romance, but I dont hate it anymore. Despite this sequel having more action than the first book, the writing and the pace werent as gripping as I would have liked. I was hoping the sequel would be more engaging since the world and characters were already established, but sadly it just didnt work for me. I wasnt super motivated to keep reading so it took me longer than usual to finish. Maybe if it had been condensed into one book I would have enjoyed it more, but if you like character driven fantasy light stories with alpha male characters then you might enjoy this more than I did.

*received for honest review consideration*

To see a breakdown of my rating check out my blog link in my profile
Profile Image for Kelsey Downham.
35 reviews28 followers
December 2, 2017
I received an ARC of Ever the Brave in a giveaway before I even read the first book, Ever the Hunted. Ever the Hunted had been on my tbr list for a long time so once I got my hands in this book, I jumped right into the series. I had a heard a lot of good things and, needless to say, I was not disappointed! The story building was fantastic, the writing was great and the characters were flawed and relatable!

From the first page of the book, I was sucked in. Ever the Brave is told from the perspectives of Britta, Cohen and Aodren. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that we got to see things from multiple point of views instead of just Britta's.

The multiple POV's really helped in the character development and I enjoyed learning more about Cohen's motivations. I thought Cohen developed really nicely in this book. He was extremely overprotective of Britta, but i was glad to see his character evolve toward the end of the book. I liked the fact that Britta was stubborn and did not allow herself to be bossed around by Cohen. She gave it right back to him and ignored his "instructions" when she thought he was being dumb. Their dynamic/relationship was well parsed out. There was a love triangle in this book, which i am not a fan of, but it was done well. The triangle was not over the top and so it didn't detract from the story at all.
I really adored Aodren's character and it was fun to get to know him. He was so sweet, hopeful and optimistic even in the face of terrible experiences. I could go on and on about the characters; they were all really well written (even the supporting ones).

Ever the Brave was fast paced and I did not want to put it down! I am so excited for any future books that are planned in this series (cough cough Aodren and Lirra cough cough). Erin Summerill has definitely become an auto buy author for me!
Profile Image for Kate (beautifulbookland).
372 reviews117 followers
December 19, 2017
Drinking game: take a shot every time I say "love triangle" in this review. You'll be hammered in no time.

Ever the Brave was such a wonderful surprise to come in the post. You see, I'd been looking forward to the release on 5th December, only to find out that Amazon had messed up (again, Amazon, what you on?) and being told that it actually comes out later in the UK. I was told it came out after Christmas, so it was lovely having this beauty in my hands early. 

And it definitely doesn't disappoint.

I'm going to admit that it did take me a good few chapters to get back into the characters and their world. I'm not sure if that's the book or me, because I had literally just finished another book before reading this, so perhaps it was just too jarring for me. 

The story picks up with Cohen off doing his bounty hunter thing, chasing down the Spiriter who controlled the King in book one, and Britta trying to adjust to her new connection to King Aodren (whose name I still cannot pronounce and usually just skip over). 

Ever the Brave is told in three POVs; Britta, Cohen, and King Aodren. While I did definitely prefer it when Britta or Cohen were narrating, I feel like Aodren's chapters did, for the most part, help the book out and provide another layer to the story. 

Now, given the ending of Ever the Hunted, it's pretty obvious that Ever the Brave is going to feature a love triangle, right? Yeah, so I expected that, but I'm still quite disappointed with it because I thought it was really obvious that Britta only had platonic feelings for one of the guys, but it was still made out to be a big thing. 

I literally do not know why we still have love triangles. Love triangles are done, over, used up. I've never met a reader who's said "You know what I love? Love triangles."

Maybe I would have liked this love triangle more had I liked Aodren more, but I felt like he was quite flat. I did start to warm to him towards the end of the book, by which time it's a bit too late because the freaking series is finished, but that's my problem. 

And also because this series is, in fact, a duology, and I don't really understand why there would be a love triangle introduced in the second book. It's just a bit disappointing for me.

So all in all, despite that freaking love triangle, Ever the Brave is a worthy second book. Fast pacing, rich world building, and a neat little ending that has you sighing. I would love to see a little Britta/Cohen short story in the future, but I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Erin's work.
Profile Image for Krysti.
357 reviews126 followers
November 28, 2017
Magic, adventure, and romance collide in the captivating second installment in the A Clash of Kingdoms series. With heart-pounding action and swoony romance, this is one book that readers won't be able to put down.

The plot of the story itself is gripping. It picks up perfectly where Ever the Hunted left off and sucks readers in from the very first page. The pacing moves even more quickly than it did in book one and is brilliantly executed. There is a pretty big cliff hanger at the end of book one, and after a year of anticipating how that was going to turn out, Summerill certainly did not disappoint. I did not at all predict the direction she took the story in and was really pleasantly surprised with the result.

The setting of this story is absolutely stunning. It's an absolute pleasure to enter this world alongside Britta, and Summerill makes it very easy to visualize. I love the political dynamics and tension between the two nations in this world and find them so interesting to read about. Readers get to see more of the machinations going on behind the scenes in this book, which is fascinating and also perfectly sets up the third book in the series. The story itself feels complete yet still left me eager for the next book. I can't wait to see what happens next.

One of the things I most enjoyed about Ever the Brave was getting to experience the story through three different POVs. The mulitple POVs were each wonderfully executed. Each felt very much like their own, easily identifiable character and had a unique voice. Summerill did a brilliant job of selecting the POVs that would best move the story forward while increasing the tension, romantic and otherwise, along the way.

I adore a good, complex villain, and Ever the Brave certainly has one! There are some fantastic twists around the villain's identity, which more absolutely jaw-dropping and so much fun to discover.

The romance is super swoony in this book. Sometimes romances fall a bit flat for me in the second book of a series, but Summerill certainly avoided that pitfall with Ever the Brave. If anything, the romance feels more captivating and passionate than it did in book one even, and I just could not get enough of Britta and Cohen.

This is a really well-executed sequel. The writing was lovely and had so much personality that really sets it apart from other books in the genre. I am so excited to read the final book in the series and cannot wait to see more from Summerill in the future.
Profile Image for Λίνα Θωμάρεη.
452 reviews32 followers
May 1, 2018
O EM TZI !!!!

Αυτό το βιβλίο τα είχε όλα και άξιζε...

Τι να πρωτοπώ.. για τις σκηνές δράσης; για τις σκηνές αγωνίας; για τις σκηνές μαγείας; για τις αισθηματικές σκηνές; για τις σκηνές επιβίωσης; για όλα τα παραπάνω?!

5 αστέρια ... και με το σπαθί του !!!

November 2, 2018
I just reread this again, and MAN. I freaking love Aodren’s character OH SO MUCH.

Cohen is super protective over Britta, which I get, WHATEVER.

But, Aodren INCLUDES her. He KILLS for her. He would gladly DIE for her, and he has weakness and they show throughout the book which I LOVE! Most books don’t portray male characters with flaws, but he has them and he’s not afraid to show that. He is also so much like Britta that I felt their connection and relationship could have been so much stronger than what she had with Cohen, but again, WHATEVER!


Ever the wicked. Ever the feared.

Holy moly this book was a RIDE.
I seriously, I thought I loved Cohen, but MAN Aodren grew on me, I’m sorry! I know that might not be a good thing, but the words that come from his mouth in this book sent chills down my spine. I mean, this quote you guys,

“Bewildered, I stare at her creamy shoulders, where freckles cascade over her curves like constellations. Gods, I could live beneath these stars forever.”

This book was very good, and yes, YOU SHOULD READ IT.
Profile Image for Bri Martinez.
248 reviews46 followers
January 20, 2018
Welp, that was disappointing. I know I'm of an unpopular opinion here, and I feel like this is similar to my feelings on Three Dark Crowns - everyone is raving about it, and I'm looking around wondering what the big deal is.

I'm going to work on deciphering my feelings and thoughts outside of disappointment and will try to put them into words.

Profile Image for Take Me Away To A Great Read.
498 reviews3 followers
December 7, 2017
Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill
(Clash of Kingdoms #2)
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy and finished copy of Ever the Brave for an honest review and quoting purposes.

Ever the Brave is a magical, swoon-worthy, fantasy, adventure that should be on everyone’s shelf. I was in love with Ever the Hunted last year and how this strong girl Britta could manage to hunt and deal with so much loss and still find a purpose. The world-building and twist had me hooked. Ever the Brave takes place immediately after the last book and is a perfect follow-up. It is told from 3 POV’s: Britta, Cohen, and Aodren the King.

I will be keeping this spoiler free. I can say like most of my favorite books or series, I never really care so much about who the character picks as much as the reasons for why they ended up with that person in the end. I know this is a hang up for some but for me it is just about the reasons and the journey.

I felt Erin wrote a beautiful book with an honest journey and all the characters were so great. You wanted to know more about each one because they were so fascinating. We get new characters like a girl named Lirra that Cohen meets when he is in Shaerdan. We also meet the Channelers Guild and Phelia.

FULL REVIEW GO TO: https://takemeawaytoagreatread.com/20...
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,177 reviews251 followers
December 27, 2017
“Loving yourself, and believing you are good and capable, is a journey.”

Ever the Brave follows Britta as she earns more about her channerler magic and her past, while trying to understand the newly formed bond with Kind Aodern and her enduring feelings for Cohen, her childhood friend turned more. There’s more magic, more politics, and more characters that create an enjoyable reading experience.

Things I Liked
EVER THE BRAVE was incredible fast paced, so if you had problems with pacing in book 1 you should give this a try! There was non-stop action and tension that really made this an addicting read. Nothing felt wasted because there wasn’t time, everything had a purpose in the story and I loved that.

I loved getting different POVs in this story, it thought it really added to the world and story overall. Characters and relationships were fleshed out because we saw things from different, and sometimes conflicting, perspectives.

Thing I Didn’t Like
While I absolutely loved the different POVs we got, the storylines didn’t always feel cohesive to me. There was so much geographical separation and different missions characters were on that everything got kinda muddled.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the love triangle in this story. I have no problem with the triangle itself or how it was executed, but I felt like the love triangle overshadowed other elements of the story and I didn’t love that.

This was a satisfying follow up to Ever the Hunted and I still really enjoyed the world and the magic system in place. There was so much happening that you didn’t want to look away from the page.

I received a copy of the book from HMH Teen.
Profile Image for Lea (drumsofautumn).
619 reviews627 followers
December 3, 2018
Video Review

It's the day after I finished this and I'm still thinking about it and how truly enjoyable I found the second part, so I'm sticking to a 3.5 star rating!

Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of Ever the Hunted, I definitely thought the ending was intriguing and the sequel had a lot of potential, which is why I ultimately choose to continue the series. I gotta be honest, I probably wouldn't have done that if it had more than two books.

As I said, this is definitely a huge improvement in comparison to Ever the Hunted. It was really great to see how Summerill has developed as a writer. While Ever the Hunted felt like a copy of all the other YA Fantasy we've seen before, Ever the Brave definitely felt more unique.

I still thought that some parts were boring and the pacing could have been a little more evenly spread. Nothing much happened in the first half and I was starting to give up on the book, when it all started going from 0 to a 100 really fast just a little bit over halfway through. I have to say I found myself enjoying the second half way more than the first. There was a good balance between character development and action sequences.
I did find the ending to be a little bit anticlimactic. I wish there had been more of a war battle that we'd see from the perspective of one of the main characters. We know it happened but it was basically only mentioned in two sentences.
There is definitely many more problems to solve in this world but going into this I knew that this would only be the end of Britta & Cohen's story, not the end of the overall world arc, so I though their ending was satisfying enough.

My favourite part of this novel and what made this much more enjoyable for me than the first one was Britta and her character development. While I found her a little bit insufferable in the first book, her character was totally growing on me in this second book. In the first book she was a really basic main character that didn't stand out among any other YA Fantasy protagonists but her journey throughout this novel was way more interesting and I definitely hope we see her again in future novels that take place in this world.
I do think her magical powers should have been dealt with more. I still think the concept is interesting but there was basically no opportunity for Britta to deal with it in this sequel which is a bummer.

My biggest problem with the first one was definitely handled better but sadly still there. The huge amount of tropes used in Ever the Hunted almost drove me nuts. I thought Summerill could have gone for a more basic approach and she definitely did in Ever the Brave.
Except she decided to bring a love triangle into play. Now this was basically obvious after the ending of the second one and I was definitely expecting it but I think it could have been handled way better. I thought the general approach to it was interesting but as a reader you know how much Britta loves Cohen and how long she's been in love with him, so you know there is no way she's gonna decide to be with someone else.
I'm sad that this trope was used in such a basic way because I thought there was really potential here. Maybe I'm the only one but I truly think something interesting could have been done here and I feel like Summerill didn't dare to go there. The worst part is that we have to endure this whole spiel from all three points of views. I thought it was truly painful to see Aorden's feelings develop, knowing that he doesn't stand a chance. But maybe that pain was the author's goal.

I do have to say I skim-read most of Cohen's chapters. And I could write a whole paragraph about Cohen and how much I don't like him (although he's also less insufferable than in the first one) but all I'm gonna say is: COHEN CAN CHOKE. If you like him, whatever, you do you, but I could not care lessssss.

Overall, I'm definitely glad I decided to finish the duology. The second book was definitely worth it for me and it was great to see both the author and characters develop. I'm excited to see where Summerill is gonna head in her future novels in this world and I'm truly looking forward to them.

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I received an ARC of this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kat.
250 reviews
March 2, 2019
This book was so much better than the first book, but it still wasn’t the best thing ever. The plot really picked up and almost twice as much happened as Ever the Hunted, which I was really happy about. I really like the new character additions. It was great to see Britta open up and have more friends, especially Gillian and Lirra. Aodren was also a good addition, I really like his character and motivations. He was really well rounded and a lot different than most Kings you see in YA. His romantic relationship with Britta was also a nice change because he actually supported her and encouraged her to do what she wanted, unlike Cohen. Cohen did have some character development, it was interesting having chapters in his point of view, but I still don’t really like him. I do think that he’s a better person than he was in the first book, but he still isn’t great. The writing also felt a lot more mature. I really did appreciate the alternating point of views, I feel like it made the story more interesting and kept the reader engaged. Overall, Ever the Brave is a better book than the Ever the Hunted, but is still only a 3 star book.
Profile Image for Stacie (Shy Book Nerd).
394 reviews87 followers
April 16, 2018
This was so much better than it’s predecessor, Ever the Hunted. While I liked the first book plenty, this one had more insight as to what was actually happening in the story. I also enjoyed reading the dual point of view in this one. The first book did not have that and that’s where I felt it lacking. I think I liked Aodren’s point of view best. I liked Britta more too. She had opened up more and had made some close knit friends. While I did like Britta and Cohen together because they share a deep past, I still felt a slight disconnect from them. There’s nothing wrong with that, I just felt the chemistry lacking. Overall, this was a fun book with plenty of fighting scenes and magic. I can’t wait to continue with the spin-off series, Aodren!!
Profile Image for kelly {BookCrushin}.
746 reviews266 followers
December 7, 2017
Well that was a journey! I really enjoyed this installment and I'm happy with the ending. I wasn't expecting everything that occurred and some of it made me laugh and some made me sad but overall it was great!
Profile Image for Rissa.
1,400 reviews48 followers
December 13, 2017
It had second book syndrome.

I still wasnt a fan of all the weird complicated names but the fight against the two kingdoms growing in intensity kept me reading
Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews614 followers
January 26, 2018
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

I'm down for any story with a heroine, but I was especially drawn to EVER THE BRAVE when I found out Britta had saved the king in the first book. I immediately wanted to know more about her and her Channeler powers.

EVER THE BRAVE started off strong. I instantly liked Britta, a capable and independent woman with a no-nonsense attitude. With this being a sequel, the author deftly avoided information dump by weaving in plot points from the first book organically. I was completely on board . . . until the book introduced two more POVs and an uninteresting love triangle.

The two love interests, King Aodren and Cohen, barely differ. They are both jealous of the other and possessive. King Aodren shares a magical bond with Britta that draws them to each other, and while he respects her abilities, there's also a huge power difference between them that King Aodren never fully acknowledges. Cohen displays little empathy for other people and does not treat Britta like an equal. I secretly hoped that Britta would end up with neither.

I had other issues with EVER THE BRAVE, namely the pacing of the story and how Britta never seemed to fully come into her own Channeler powers, but overall the plot didn't ever completely pull me in. While I enjoyed Britta's voice, the story wasn't unique enough to make it stand out from every other "evil person wants to take over the kingdom for reasons" story.
Profile Image for Lindsey.
30 reviews1 follower
December 11, 2017
I adore this book. Erin Summerill has a way of sucking you in to her world. This book is everything I hoped it would be. the magic system is intricate and interesting. The romance is steamy and you find a way to love everyone. Cohen is by far my personal favorite though. this book will keep you on your toes for sure.
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