The Traitor's Kiss (top), The Traitor's Ruin (left), and The Traitor's Kingdom (right) with my cats who wanted to nap, not pose. Photos by Kate Ota 2021
I recently finished the third book in The Traitor's Circle trilogy by Erin Beaty and loved it! It’s a series that doesn’t get enough buzz, honestly. I thought I’d do review of the whole series to entice more people into reading it.
The Traitor’s Kiss, The Traitor’s Ruin, and the Traitor’s Kingdom (in that order) are what I would consider New Adult but is probably found in the YA section because the author is a woman. (Don't get me started on that particular rant.) It’s fantasy in that it is set in an alternate world (complete with map!) but there is no magic. The setting is pre-industrial revolution and feels mainly western European.
The main character is headstrong Sage Fowler (Strong Female Character alert!), who works for a matchmaker after she’s deemed unworthy of a match. As it turns out, matchmakers are doing a lot more than throwing people in a room together, they’re controlling where inherited wealth and power ends up. I really liked this aspect of women behind the scenes pulling the strings. Sage ends up escorting a bunch of brides to a big matchmaking event, and does so undercover in order to better get to know their personalities, and those of the soldiers escorting them, to make future matches. Of course, there’s a bit of snag when one of the soldiers is a bit too interested in Sage herself. There are quite a few characters who aren’t who they seem, and unraveling that mystery is good fun.
Explaining the other two books in detail would be horribly spoiler-y, but know that I love how Sage and her love interest both grow and evolve through the books. Each book has plenty of twists and villain un-masking, yet none feels like a rehash of any of the others. And, I’m happy to report, there is no love triangle. Hallelujah!
I recommend this series to anyone who likes a strong plot of romance in their fantasy, likes espionage elements, and likes secondary world fantasy. Not for you if you’re looking for magic or dislike violence. It gave me a similar vibe as K.A. Doore’s The Perfect Assassin, which I have also reviewed.
Good news, Erin Beaty has a new book dropping this fall. You better believe I'll be reading it!
Have you read this series, too? Let's gush about it in the comments!