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Steel Princess by Rina Kent
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I hate everything and everyone now.
Rina broke me again, and I want nothing more now than my cat, Xanax, and a panic room.

Deviant King is a mind screw of grand proportion full of little hints and easter eggs enough to make one bedlamite. The story is chockablock of broken characters who are far beyond repair; every damn one of them has more baggage than the Louis Vuitton outlet store. All the females are needy for love and affection but trade any hope for good things so they can live off the interest of the lies they tell themselves about the great future the could have if only they spring there trap. ---Note to Elsa, Kim, Silvers, and Blair: You ARE your cage.

The only character that isn’t an A-hole of monstrous proportions is Uncle Jaxon. But don’t worry because in Steel Princess Rina breaks him too.

Both books have Elsa and Aiden considering the concepts of intuition and inevitability as their opening chapter. We return to philosophy, and Sartre: Elsa and Aiden both struggles with the ultimate existential crisis: are they the player or the game? In Steel Princess, there are references throughout Aiden’s POVs of his worldview; he’s the player; manipulation won’t work on him anymore. He mastered himself in the darkness of his childhood, nursing himself upon the suffering and pain forced upon him to create a self-possessed demon without weakness — a villain entirely in control of his victim.

But regardless of all Aiden’s encouragement, he hasn’t been able to get Elsa to stop being the game and to embrace her power. Elsa spent all of Deviant King saying bullies shouldn’t be understood. Rina has created her character with enough subconscious awareness to know that her amnesia, her scar, and her submissiveness are the seal on her Pandora’s box, and the key to it is to look into the abyss.

So in book two, our Steel Princess is born upon the sacrificial stone of Deviant King’s poolside cliffhanger; the revelation has finally come to Elsa that she needs to remover herself from the Kings’ gameboard. But it hasn’t occurred to her that all her research on strategy and attack is absurd in the light that she refuses to recognize what she controls. She is focused on the smallest most inconsequential parts of the larger picture and settles for crumbs when she owns the bakery.

This book is a rabbit hole of epiphany and discovery; admissions, confessions, and betrayals unloaded automatic assault weapon style and land like bombs. But the more you learn, the more you realize that you know nothing at all. For all of Rina Kent’s unbundling of backstory explaining what ingredients went into creating present-day Elsa and Aiden, we can’t begin to guess how two monsters will build their twisted kingdom. The last few pages only murky the waters further.
I hate it. I hate how badly I want more. I want a nap.

These books require multiple readings to start seeing Rina’s smart little hidden-in-plain-sight hints for Aiden, Elsa, the other horsemen, and side characters. I see new things with every read and have noticed she unmercifully diverts you from specifically stated facts through inflammatory dialogue between characters. It would help if you read the book once watching and hearing, once hearing all the conversation, and a few times with the sound off. I can assure you you will see things that will open your eyes. But I don’t recommend the obsessive investigation unless you want to join me in the misery that has me up at night penning theories in my journal and texting my therapist for psychiatric profiling answers.

My wrap is that Rina mean-girl styled effed with my mind. I love her. I don’t particularly appreciate how she makes me feel. I can’t wait for her to mistreat me with the last book. And she better not let up with her story-crafting when she moves further into the other Royal Elite Series.

I love the intricacies of her plot and the devastating brutality of the nature of her characters. Rina Kent is comfortable making her characters uncomfortable. I'm cool with that. She is so skilled at character development that I want her to challenge and break the horsemen and make all her heroines rage. And the people she writes are better with the more decay with which she defiles them.

Give me more.
Corrupt me too.

Cruel King: A Dark High School Bully Romance
Deviant King
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Reading Progress

December 3, 2019 – Started Reading
December 5, 2019 – Finished Reading
December 12, 2019 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Courtney I love this!!!

S_bookblog I love your review! Can't wait for the next book 😍

Mandy’s Book Reviews Great review!

Have Coffee Need Books Thank you all so much!

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