Like flowers denied water, people are wilting under the emperor's tyranny.
Rose will not rest until the Gardener is dead. But there are bigger battles to fight, and Rayce—leader of the rebellion and the only man Rose has ever loved—believes their best chance at winning the war is to join forces with her sworn enemy.
Saving innocent people is more important than her quest for revenge. But their new ally can’t be trusted—and he knows her darkest secret. One betrayal could leave the war and Rayce’s life hanging in the balance, and Rose will need to make the ultimate sacrifice to save them all.
War of the Wilted by Amber Mitchell is the second book in the Garden of Thorns trilogy and it picks up shortly after the end of book one. I was pretty excited when I saw this and I admit, I probably should have re-read the last few chapters to get back into the story as I kind of forgot how the last one ended. With that said, I loved diving back into this world and learning more about everything.
Rose and Rayce are slightly at odds during this entire book. This is mostly due to the fact that Rayce is keeping the Gardener prisoner, so he can get the information he needs but Rose not only doesn’t trust anything the Gardener says, but she also hates the fact that Rayce is asking her to be ok with the fact that the person who kept her prisoner and killed her friends, is allowed to live.
I could actually see both sides of this story. Rayce is willing to do anything to save his people and thinks the sacrifice is worth the what the Gardener can give him. Rose on the other hand disagrees and I sympathize with her as I don’t know that I would be able to stick it out knowing that my tormentor for years was living in the same location as I was. It was a tough situation for both of them and it ultimately comes to a head and because of some things that happen, the trust Rayce has in Rose is damaged.
As the story continues, I have to admit that some of my favorite parts were those where it was just Rose and Rayce figuring things out. I’m a sucker for romance in my books and Mitchell did a great job of not only continuing what was building in the first book, but also reflecting some realistic struggles that these two need to figure out.
I really like these main characters and I also thought the secondary characters were a great addition to the story. Not only do we get to see more from the Gardener but also Rayce’s uncle, the emperor. I loved seeing how all of their stories intertwined and they all added something to the story.
I don’t want to say too much about the details because I don’t want to ruin what happens. What I will say is that if you like a book with a lot of action, political intrigue, and an interesting plot, consider checking this series out. Mitchell did a great job building out the world, developing the characters, and creating a story that held my attention until the very last page. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in this series and will be keeping an eye out!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the copy in exchange for an honest review.