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BOOK REVIEW : A PROMISE OF RETURN (THE OUTLANDS PENTALOGY #3) BY REBECCA CRUNDEN

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TITLE : A Promise Of Return (The Outlands Pentalogy #3)

AUTHOR : Rebecca Crunden

GENRE : YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopia

FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 Stars)

Check out my review for A Touch Of Death (The Pentalogy Series #1) by Rebecca Crunden

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Check out my review for A History Of Madness (The Pentalogy Series #2) by Rebecca Crunden

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FR REVIEW

DISCLAIMER : Thank you Rebecca for sending me an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

A Promise Of Return by Rebecca Crunden is the third book in The Outland’s Pentalogy Series. This series is a fantasy/science-fiction set in a dystopian world. I am so thankful to Rebecca for her patience because this book has been sitting on my shelf for some time now. I planned to read this book as soon as I finished A History Of Madness. Unfortunately, I had a lot of books that I had committed before this book and so I scheduled it for August. I have been dying to get back to reading this book and I am so happy to say I finally finished it. Boy oh boy, what a ride it was. With each book, this series is getting so goooodddd!!!

So we are following Thom in this book. I am loving the different POVs for each book. With each book, the different POVs give us each main character’s unique journey and their perspectives. I love the fact that we can learn more about each character. The character growth and unique perspectives are my favorites so far when it comes to this series.

We follow Thom’s journey after he gets caught by the guards and we follow him through his entire journey up until the point when Nate meets him. That climax in the second book was so good but it left us in a bit of a shock. But I am so happy to see that Thom is safe or at least as safe as he can be considering the situation he is in. Thom will go through the most rigorous tests of his life and he has to fight for his life not just with his wits and intelligence, but also physically. He trains regularly to keep his strengths and skills honed. He finds himself finding a new family and being a support system and helping them as well. We get to see him find love and having to fight for his life.

I have to say my heart broke for Thom and everything he had to go through to even be free of the Kingdom. His experience with the Kingdom, their rules, and the Outlands were just as traumatizing as it was for Nate and Kitty. Their experiences shape them and it haunts them. The PTSD and panic attacks they suffer through makes things even more difficult for the group to find some peace. We see them struggle to be who they were before everything went haywire. Their group is still tight-knit, having more people helping them out, exploring new things. I love that despite his negative experiences, he is open to new beginnings and hope for a better future.

Thom is still putting people before him and his belief that he deserves the bad things happening to him makes me want to give him a big hug. He feels guilty for everything that happened to Nate and the guilt drives him forward with his every action influenced by it. He is so selfless and his decisions are often guided by his love for Nate, Kitty, or now finally his love-interest. He is a beautiful mess and I love how he still finds a way to make Kitty comfortable and loved despite everything that has happened to them. I loved Thom so much.

I have been talking about Thom for some time now. He is the star of this book and I feel like I will continue to talk about him if I didn’t stop myself. We get to see Nate and Kitty for a bit, but I missed them as well. Nate is Nate and he is just as broken as the rest of them and his love for Thom and Kitty is the only thing keeping him sane. Nate and Thom’s bond is stronger than ever and his need to keep Thom close to him is understandable. I feel for him and his panic when it comes to losing Thom. Every single time they are apart bad things happened to one or the other. It’s heartbreaking and stressful to see them suffer.

This book got more bloody and violent than the last book. The lives of the characters got even more challenging. I was so invested in this book and wanting to know Thom’s journey. I have no idea what kind of a rollercoaster the next book brings and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. With each book, the exploration of the world, the introduction of new and lovable characters, and an amazing story Rebecca have yet again managed to bring an absolute page-turner.

If you haven’t picked this series yet, what is wrong with you?? Just kidding. 😉But seriously, what are you waiting for? This book is for everyone who would love to break the endless chain of reading the same old YA. This book will blow your mind and with each series, it gets better and better, and the tension is so good that it will keep you at the edge of your seats. The flawed main characters you can’t help but love, the world-building, issues of morality, corrupt Kingdom and rulers, found families, budding friendships, and a good amount of tension that will seal the deal for any dystopian sci-fi/fantasy lovers is what this series is. I highly recommend this series for every YA reader out there. You guys need to check it out or else you will be missing out on an amazing series. I gave it 5 stars and I am so pumped for the rest of the series. I hope I get to read them as well. Make sure to check this series out, I guarantee you will love it.

SYNOPSIS

When Thom Anteros is arrested after breaking into the Building of Historical Records, he demands to be taken before the King. A laughable demand for anyone else, Thom’s request is granted and the King spares his life. Yet what’s to become of him is left in the hands of the one person Thom truly fears – Mickey Taenia, the King’s Hangman.

Infuriated by Thom’s refusal to reveal the whereabouts of Nate and Catherine, the Hangman sends Thom to one of the worst places in the Kingdom – the slave markets of Muntenia. It is there that Thom is bought for the Red Arena: a barbaric, gladiator-type competition where the children of convicts and other unlucky souls are forced to fight to the death.

Twenty wins is release. One loss is death.

With the help of Charles Thoreau, a fellow captive, Thom begins not only to survive, but to thrive. A master of words becomes a master of death, and Thom’s prowess in the arena frightens even him.

But death isn’t the only thing haunting Thom. As the days go by, he dreams of his brother, and the promise he cannot forget.

I will return.

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