Title: Cracked Kingdom
Author: Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #5
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: March 1, 2018
Ever since Hartley Wright met Easton Royal, her life hasn’t been the same. There are enemies behind every corner and dangers beyond each door. When tragedy strikes and steals her memories, she can’t trust anyone, not even the blue-eyed boy who promises her that everything will be all right.
Because while Hartley’s memory is full of gaps, her instincts tell her Easton is dangerous. She doesn’t know if he’s the snake in the garden or her chance at salvation. The chaos he brings wherever he goes is too much to handle, the intense feelings he evokes are too confusing to unravel.
Easton wants her to remember. Hartley thinks it’s better to forget.
She might be right.
Tragedy. Treachery. Trust. Hartley has to face the facts—in this world, you can’t escape the Royals.
Either you live by their rules or you die by them.
This review will contain spoilers for the first four books in the series. It’s unavoidable, so please proceed with caution!
Erin Watt has ended every book in the Royals series on a heart stopping cliffhanger and Fallen Heir was no exception. We last saw the Royal family at the scene of an accident involving both Hartley and Seb and Sawyer Royal. Lives hang in the precipice and emotions are on high alert. With that cliffhanger in mind, I started reading Cracked Kingdom the minute that I could get it on my Kindle. I absolutely had to know what was going to happen and Erin Watt continued to provide a twisted, rocky path that did not disappoint.
Easton has always been my favorite Royal, and I was intrigued to see how his story would play out. He’s always struggled with his mother’s death and her affair with Steve Halloran. He’s dealt with that by drowning himself in drugs, and ridiculous amounts of alcohol. But something about Hartley makes him want to be a better person. With Hartley’s memory loss and her trust in her family and friends rocked to the core, it’s up to Easton to prove to her that he’s the good guy in everything and to regain both Hartley’s trust and her love. The amount of growth in Easton’s character amongst the pages of Cracked Kingdom is tremendous and only goes to further prove the complexities laid out in Erin Watt’s character arcs.
Hartley, on the other hand, is still a tough character to get my head around. She’s a very guarded character, and it makes it hard to form a character/reader relationship with her. It’s not that she’s an unlikeable character, it’s the fact that she has kept so much of herself hidden from everyone. So when she suffers from memory loss, it’s hard for both the character and the reader to tell the truth from the lies. As the reader, we have the advantage of knowing the few details we were given in Cracked Kingdom, but it’s hard to read of Hartley’s struggles without become increasingly frustrated as more and more layers are peeled back.
As with all of the Royal books, the bulk of the drama and entertainment of the novel comes in the last 25-30 pages and this team of writers did not disappoint. I was on the edge of my seat, holding my breath to see what would happen next. It was a rapid fire of events, and secrets coming to life and I was there for it all! The culmination of events in Cracked Kingdom is the reason why I love and continue to read Erin Watt’s books. They’re always full of drama, teeter on the edge of hysteria and leave more wanting more in the best way possible.
The saddest part of this book was reading that it would be the last novel featuring this family as I desperately want to know the twin’s future but I can only hope that maybe someday ny dreams will come true and we will be blessed with a surprise Royals novel.