Review: Fray by Rowenna Miller
Series: The Unraveled Kingdom #2
Also by this author: Torn
Published by Orbit on June 4, 2019
Also in this series: Torn
In this epic sequel to Torn, the magical seamstress Sophie Balstrade navigates a royal court and foreign alliances fraught with danger -- and may well have to risk everything for love and for country.
Open revolt has been thwarted -- for now -- but unrest still simmers in the kingdom of Galitha. Sophie, despite having built a thriving business on her skill at both dressmaking and magic, has not escaped unscathed from her misadventures in the workers' rebellion. Her dangerous foray into curse casting has rendered her powers unpredictable, and her increasingly visible romantic entanglement with the Crown Prince makes her a convenient target for threatened nobles and malcontented commoners alike.With domestic political reform and international alliances -- and her own life -- at stake, Sophie must discern friend from foe... before her magic grows too dark for her to wield.
Rowenna Miller's enchanting fantasy series, the Unraveled Kingdom, is perfect for fans of The Queen of the Tearling and Red Queen.
The Unraveled KingdomTornFray
Fray is another enjoyable book in the Unraveled Kingdom. Political unrest and revolution have created an uncertain path and future for the empire, and Sophie finds herself at the center of the conflicts. Engaged to the Crown-prince, but also rooted in the community that is looking for change, she has loved ones and friends on both sides of the conflict. She’s a strong protagonist who fights her battles using intelligence and using her relationships. It also helps she can use a bit of magic here and there through the use of her charms.
I did really enjoy this one, however I also think it suffers a bit from second book syndrome. I think for me, this just seemed to be a slower book and much of what I found myself excited about in the first book has all been established I know Torn wasn’t particularly fast paced, but whenever you are meeting new characters I think it feels like more is happening. Everything and everyone was new and exciting.
The first book had us learning about Sophie’s magic, watching her build her business and relationships with the higher class clientele, and then there was Sophie’s developing relationship with the Crown Prince. Not to mention the entire Red Cap uprising, and her own brother’s role in that.
There is plenty going on in this book as well, there is major unrest in the city and Sophie is suddenly struggling to control and use her magic, adding extra pressure and stress as she relies on her magic both as part of her business, but also as way to lend protection or luck to those people and causes that she cares about. Her shop is doing very well, but with her upcoming marriage, thanks to the sexist laws that claim married women can’t be business owners, she has to face passing it on. On top of this, there is some serious scheming and betrayal going on. So obviously, I don’t want to imply that nothing happens, Fray just seemed to have a slower pace than Torn and I suspect some of that is since this is not an action oriented series, the fresh introduction of everything in the first book helped give it an edge.
There is nothing wrong with that, and I certainly don’t mean that there wasn’t anything exciting in this book. It just was probably more focused on the politics, that may have been quite important in the first book as well, but they were not the only component of the book that drew me in during the first book, but I think with so many of the other elements established, this one focused more heavily on it. But I did enjoy it and I am really curious to find out what is in store for us readers with the next book.
If you enjoyed Torn, I absolutely recommend reading Fray as well, and I am looking forward to the next installment.