★★★ @jules_barnard @GiveMeBooksPR #FatesFulfilled
New to me author Ms. Barnard kidnaps me into a magical world filled with icy adversity. Lex is an awkward tall girl trying to get through school and move on with her degree. She is prone to panic attacks and hates the cold. She doesn't remember much about her life before her uncle saved her, but she's as happy as she can be, given the circumstances. What she doesn't know... may kill her. This is the 3rd book in the series and I can confirm it can be read as a standalone. I suspect it would be better if the first two books were read before this one.
The beginning of this story moves pretty quickly as Lex is whisked away by some crazy trio of males claiming that she can help save them. All Lex knows is that she is going to die in this icy world they have transported her to and she hates them. I liked how time is compressed in this book. The author moves us rapidly through the weeks this group travels to get to the Dark Kingdom. When a defining moment in time appears, the book stops and gives good detail, and pulls the reader back in. I like this because it kind of plays like a movie in my mind.
The world-building in this book is a bit light for me. My guess is because this is done in books 1 and 2. Still, I have no issues with it because I read enough paranormal that my mind can easily plug in the information needed for this story to work. The character building is okay. I found Lex to be patient and better with Garrin than I would have been. Garrin is a single-minded guy who is focused on only 1 thing. Finding a way to use Lex to save his kingdom. Oh what he doesn't know may also kill him.
This is a world of dysfunctional royals who dine on hatred, backstabbing, cruelty, and power struggles. The Dark Kingdom kind of deserves the curse they are under. I found this story to be depressing and grim. I wouldn't say dark because I like dark books. This book showcases the inhumanity that can happen when there is a despot ruler. Doesn't help that he surrounds himself with sadists who enjoy torturing everyone and anyone. There is no one who is safe from the evils of this land.
Overall, I found the book to be intriguing. The reveals are nicely done. I expected them with the heavy hints peppered throughout the story. The conclusion comes a bit swiftly and is anticlimatic. The tidy ending with several happy reunions does bring a happily ever after. This paranormal romance is recommended to readers who enjoy good versus evil themes.
* An ARC provided by Give Me Books Promotions