First – we knew, didn’t we, that Mark’s book would be great. Second – Pen. Pen is everything I’d hoped for but also so much more. He is that perfect mix of arrogant and terribly fragile; he is fierce and beautiful and terrified. He’s a wild and untamed thing.
KJ Charles’ eloquent, poignant portrayal of Pen’s gender-queer identity hit me like a literal blow to the chest. I know this is something a lot of people are working their way through right now. In my own case, people close to me have children who are struggling for acceptance as they are. Seeing this struggle put into writing – how completely assured Pen was of his identity, how wrong he felt when forced into a societal gender role – really brought it all home. I won’t lie, there were more than a few spots in this book where I had to break out the tissues.
More than any other book in this series, the two leads had to work through some serious hurdles to get to their happy ending. For starters, Pen had some justifiable anger at Mark that they needed to get through. But aside from that – there were more external barriers, such as Pen’s status as a peer, his rather protective sister, and of course the villains out fouling things up for all our characters in this series.
I would gladly stay in the Sins of the Cities world and spend more time with all these characters – there are so many more stories I’d like to hear. I hope KJ Charles indulges us with a novella or two at some point. In the meantime, An Unsuitable Heir was a satisfying conclusion to one of my absolute favorite series.
**I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review of this book.**