The Kraken King (Parts 4-6) by Meljean Brook
Reviewed by Tori
Earlier this month I reviewed Parts 1-3 of Meljean Brook’s newest steampunk adventure series, The Kraken King. You can read it here. I’m back today to review parts 4-6. There are eight parts total.
The end of part three left us not so much on a cliffhanger but in an unsure place. Ariq is still unsure exactly who Zenobia Fox is and what her place is in the situation they have had to overcome so far. However, he has decided that he can no longer deny his attraction to her and in the end gives her an ultimatum-she can tell him her secrets willingly or unwilling but either way, she will tell him. Let me give you a hint, Arig doesn’t use his fists but he does use his hands. And all his other body parts. *waggles eyebrows*
One delightfully aspect of this serial is that each part opens with a letter to her brother, Archimedes, in which she briefly tells him what she has been up to in a frothy concoction of humor and witty banter. I love these letters as they are one of the few times we see Zenobia unguarded and relaxed.
Zenobia is on pins and needles as she and Ariq get closer to the Red City. She knows she will have to spill her secrets and she dreads what’s in store for once Ariq knows the whole truth. Forgiving him for his faux pas back in Krakentown, Zenobia still harbors doubt that she is not enough for him and that once he meets the real Zenobia, his feelings for her will die.
Part four focuses on Ariq’s and Zenobia’s feelings for one another. Brooks uses some downtime to reveal a softer nature of both our lovers as she helps them navigate a minefield of lies, secrets, and half truths. Zenobia is still unsure of Ariq but as we have learned, Ariq will not let her deny him anymore. The heat level rises to scorching as Ariq lets Zenobia know that he will do whatever it takes to tear down the walls around her heart. We end on a cliffhanger when Ariq’s past pays a surprise visit.
Tensions run high as Ariq’s past is revealed and we learn the full story in regards to his parentage and the truth behind his moniker. Our lovers find themselves dragged into a political game they have no hope of winning. An unusual declaration proves to all that Zenobia is under the protection of The Kraken King and beware to all who doubt that. When Ariq is forced to leave Zenobia behind in order to save her, Zenobia prays he remembers his promise to come for her. But when Zenobia suffers a terrible loss, she realizes that sometimes, you have to save yourself.
Brook’s brings in the big guns with bold actions and her outrageous imagination to shoves the conflict into high gear, revealing a situation that rocks the very core of the story. The past and the present intertwine, showing Ariq and readers that you can never fully escape your past.
Zenobia and Ariq are finally reunited but no one is safe with war coming. Ariq finds himself at a loss when his need of the Empress of Nippon’s ear collides with his need to keep Zenobia by his side and from rebuilding her walls against him. The decision is taken from him when he and Zenobia are forced into quarantine to bide their time until the Empress receives them. Though physically close, Zenobia still guards herself against the dangers of the heart.
Love and politics make strange bedfellows as our lovers soon learn. Sexual tension is at a premium and Brook’s masterly uses it to uplift and push the story along. Ariq and Zenobia are closer than ever before but Brook’s doesn’t make it easy for either of them. We spend more time with some secondary characters who give us details Ariq and Zenobia aren’t able to. Intrigue follows us into the Living City and prepares us for the end of the Kraken King.