For The Throne – Dark Reign

For the Throne CoverAnd so we come to the conclusion of Hannah Whitten’s Wilderwood series. For The Throne switches the main characters, leaves the magic of the Wilderwood behind, and sinks into a nightmare realm trapping long-forgotten gods and treacherous Old Kings. This adventure is wholly different from the events in book one, and it does a fabulous job building on the world to give us a deeper understanding of the myth tying Red and Neve together. 

For The Throne picks up immediately following the events of For The Wolf. After the battle to prevent a door to the Shadowlands from opening, Neve pulls the dark magic into herself and disappears into the realm alongside the traitorous, once-king Solmir. She arrives in a dying world leeched of color and filled with horrors. Neve discovers that she has an affinity for the dark magic swirling in her veins, but the more she uses it, the more monstrous she becomes. Unfortunately, her goal to get home aligns with Solmir’s plan to open another doorway, and she finds herself forming an alliance with the man who attempted to kill her sister. 

Book one was Red’s story, and while Neve’s role was important, it was not the focal point. In For The Throne, the sisters switch places. With Neve leading the charge, we have a whole new world to explore and an entirely different magic system to make sense of. I had the same experience in both books—desperate to read the main character’s chapters while semi-dreading the switch to the other, less prominent sister. However, this time around, that POV switch was felt more prominently. Red’s adventure in this book feels aimless while Neve’s is action-packed and full of purpose. Even though there are some important moments for Red, it seemed like Whitten was trying to keep her occupied until Red’s story needed to align with Neve’s big moments. I loved seeing Red and Eammon, but I was all Team Neve and found her chapters to be more captivating. 

Neve’s biggest struggle throughout the book is believing that she is bad and monstrous for the decisions she made to save her sister. It’s hard for her to accept the consequences of her actions. Unfortunately for Neve, she is reminded of her mistakes every waking moment because of Solmir, who played a part in her decision-making. All of this is set against the backdrop of the Shadowlands, and it creates a story wrought with anxiety, worry, and resignation. The interesting thing about Neve is that she doesn’t necessarily try to overcompensate and be good either. Between her and Solmir, this story is less about redemption and more about coming to terms with what has to be done. 

My only small issue with this story is Neve and Solmir’s development. Whitten stitched Red and Eammon together so beautifully in book one, and that effortless grace was missing in For The Throne. Neve and Solmir are an entirely different dynamic, but I never quite bought into why either one remotely cared for the other. I enjoyed the hurdles of Red and Eammon’s relationship, but Neve and Solmir shied away from showing the reader those hard-earned moments. They leave a lot unsaid, which, quite frankly, is very appropriate for who they are as characters. However, their relationship constantly develops and regresses through their actions and no one actually says what needs to be said.

For The Throne was a satisfying and fitting conclusion to Hannah Whitten’s Wilderwood series. It complemented book one beautifully, and Neve was a fascinating inverse of Red. When shifting main characters between books I almost always have a favorite, but here my hands are tied. I thoroughly enjoyed the unique journeys both women had and consider this duology one you’ll want on your TBR.

Rating: For the Throne – 8.0/10

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I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. The thoughts on this story are my own.

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