Title: Steel Princess (Royal Elite Book #2)
Author: Rina Kent
Genre: Dark Bully High School Romance
Release Date: December 12, 2019
I hate everything and everyone now.
Rina broke me again, and I want nothing more now than my cat, Xanax, and a panic room.
Deviant King is a mind screw of grand proportion full of little hints and easter eggs enough to make one bedlamite. The story is chockablock of broken characters who are far beyond repair; every damn one of them has more baggage than the Louis Vuitton outlet store. All the females are needy for love and affection but trade any hope for good things so they can live off the interest of the lies they tell themselves about the great future the could have if only they spring there trap. —Note to Elsa, Kim, Silvers, and Blair: You ARE your cage.
The only character that isn’t an A-hole of monstrous proportions is Uncle Jaxon. But don’t worry because in Steel Princess Rina breaks him too.
Both books have Elsa and Aiden considering the concepts of intuition and inevitability as their opening chapter. We return to philosophy, and Sartre: Elsa and Aiden both struggles with the ultimate existential crisis: are they the player or the game? In Steel Princess, there are references throughout Aiden’s POVs of his worldview; he’s the player; manipulation won’t work on him anymore. He mastered himself in the darkness of his childhood, nursing himself upon the suffering and pain forced upon him to create a self-possessed demon without weakness — a villain entirely in control of his victim.
But regardless of all Aiden’s encouragement, he hasn’t been able to get Elsa to stop being the game and to embrace her power. Elsa spent all of Deviant King saying bullies shouldn’t be understood. Rina has created her character with enough subconscious awareness to know that her amnesia, her scar, and her submissiveness are the seal on her Pandora’s box, and the key to it is to look into the abyss.
So in book two, our Steel Princess is born upon the sacrificial stone of Deviant King’s poolside cliffhanger; the revelation has finally come to Elsa that she needs to remover herself from the Kings’ gameboard. But it hasn’t occurred to her that all her research on strategy and attack is absurd in the light that she refuses to recognize what she controls. She is focused on the smallest most inconsequential parts of the larger picture and settles for crumbs when she owns the bakery.
This book is a rabbit hole of epiphany and discovery; admissions, confessions, and betrayals unloaded automatic assault weapon style and land like bombs. But the more you learn, the more you realize that you know nothing at all. For all of Rina Kent’s unbundling of backstory explaining what ingredients went into creating present-day Elsa and Aiden, we can’t begin to guess how two monsters will build their twisted kingdom. The last few pages only murky the waters further.
I hate it. I hate how badly I want more. I want a nap.