Contains spoilers. See my review for All Fall Down and See How They Run
Embassy Row Book Three
Written by Ally Carter
Published February 2017
Thank you to Scholastic Australia
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The princess is dead. Long live the princess.
Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed… Or so everyone thought. Now Grace Blakely knows the truth. There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution, which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.
There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.
If she wins, she will inherit a throne. And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.
The royal bloodline ended the night the castle was besieged, a family slain and an interim King reigning over the citizens of Adria. Grace's mother believed in children's fairytales, the night the royal family had perished, a samaritan protecting baby princess Amelia from the brutal revolution, the royal bloodline surviving.
Take The Key and Lock Her Up begins mere moments after the revelations of See How They Run, Jamie is injured, Alexei a fugitive and Grace is determined to carry her mother's legacy, finding evidence of the lost princess.
Grace Blakely is a descendant of baby Amelia, a centuries old mystery that the government and Society of Ardia are determined to protect. Since moving into the embassy to live with her grandfather, Grace has been embroiled in controversy. Grace is relentless in her search to uncover her mother's findings, needing evidence as leverage against Adria and the royal family who occupy the throne. I admire Grace's tenacity as a character and enjoyed her relationship with her brother and love interest Alexei, who are now fleeing Adria with the assistance of Dominic.
While in previous installments, the murder mystery aspect added drama and intrigue, the focus is now placed upon on Grace, while the narration of friends and embassy residents were left unresolved. Grace is a character who has struggled with her mental health, placed within a health facility leaving her distressed. Her anguish and post traumatic stress disorder is now absent, apart from the occasional inner monologue reminiscing the death of her mother. Unfortunately, the storyline felt entirely repetitive. One aspect I found fascinating about the series were the ancient and secretive society of women, political puppeteers that seemed a convenient device of justification for the lawless Embassy Row, where adults in authoritarian positions maim and murder. Unfortunately it wasn't fully explored.
Suspension of disbelief was virtually impossible. Although entertaining, I wasn't immersed or as engaged as I've been with the previous installments but was surprised by the ending and a little disheartened by the vigilante justice imposed. The Embassy Row series has been wonderfully entertaining, secrecy and intrigue creating a narrative that will enthrall and delight readers but unfortunately the finale left me feeling disappointed.