Book Highlight: The Faithless by C.L. Clark

book highlight the faithless cl clark
the faithless cl clark

Title: The Faithless (Magic of the Lost #2)

Author: C.L. Clark

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: March 7, 2023

Genre: Fantasy

In the second installment of C.L. Clark’s Magic of the Lost trilogy, soldier Touraine and princess Luca must return to Balladaire to reclaim Luca’s throne and to face the consequences of dismantling an empire.

The rebels have won, and the empire is withdrawing from Qazal. But undoing the tangled web that binds the two nations will not be easy, and Touraine and Luca will face their greatest challenge yet.

Luca needs to oust her uncle from the Balladairan throne once and for all and take her rightful place as Queen. But he won’t let go of power so easily. When he calls for a “Trial of Competence” and Luca’s allies start disappearing from her side, she will need to find a way to prove her might. And she knows someone who can help…

Touraine has found a home in the newly free country of Qazal. But she soon realizes that leading a country and leading a revolution are two very different tasks. And, even more importantly, if Luca’s uncle doesn’t ratify the treaty, the Qazali could end up right back where they started. 

Together, the two women will have to come overcome their enemies, their history, and their heartbreak in order to find a way to secure Luca’s power and Touraine’s freedom. 

Why This Book

Typically, when I think of The Faithless, and the first book in the trilogy, I think of desert-y Qazal. Indeed, a good part of The Faithless is set in Qazal, but it’s also set in Balladaire, which is much more European. Still, gardens don’t normally spring to my mind when it comes to The Faithless, considering it deals with, basically, a chess game between Luca and her uncle fraught with tragedy and roadblocks at every turn, as well as long-held secrets. But a couple of the scenes that have stuck with me were actually set in a garden at the palace in Balladaire. They weren’t exactly happy scenes, but they held importance. I loved the garden maze and the secrets it helped reveal. It was also a nice counterpoint to the first book, which was set entirely in Qazal. I loved how green Balladaire felt in contrast, and really liked how the lush greenery came into play.


My review: “The Faithless is an intense story. There are plenty of twists and turns and scheming. New friends are made and old friends are seen. The romance was cutting and painful, but still gorgeous. I really enjoyed the game of chess and really loved getting to know the world better”

Deedi Speaking said “My main criticism — although it’s not a loud one — is that I found the pacing uneven. All the action happens in the second half, especially the last 20% or so. (That’s pretty common for a second book; the author has resolved the first big plot arc and turns their attention to deeper character development.) But while I was impatient for more action, I can also say that I was never bored”

Books Are The New Black gave this a 4, saying “Overall, I really enjoyed this one, and even better than book one. I thought the romance was developed much better throughout this one. Sometimes a slow-burn romance just hits better! As I mentioned before, this more of a character focused book but that’s okay because the growth is worth it”

Utopia State of Mind said “It’s a book that challenges, delivers magic, and examines power. With no easy answers, The Faithless is a tour de force. It’s about the ways power plays can end up recoiling, twisting around the fragile relationships we hold dear”

The Bibliophile Chronicles gave this 5 stars, saying “The story is complex, well executed and utterly compelling. I enjoyed seeing more of the world in this installment and seeing all the sights and sounds of Balladaire come to life. The world building is excellent, with the reader getting the opportunity to learn more about the magic both in Qazal and in Balladaire.”

Thoughts Stained with Ink gave this a 4.5, saying “The Faithless was a stunning sequel to an already stellar first book. Clark doesn’t know second book syndrome. If you want a book with lesbian romance, unflinching critiques and exploration of colonization, intricate characters that will make your heart break? C.L. Clark is the writer for you”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Powell’s | Target | Walmart | Waterstones (UK) | Booktopia (Australia) | Books-A-Million | Flipkart (India) | !ndigo (Canada) | Kobo | Audible | Google Books | Apple Books | Thrift Books | Book Depository | Abe Books | Dymocks (Australia) | Blackwell’s (UK) | Joy and Matt’s | Sistah Scifi | Emporium of the Weird and Fantastic | Pandemonium Books and Games | The Broken Binding (UK) | Midtown Reader | Under the Umbrella

Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.

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