BOOK REVIEW: Trick (Foolish Kingdoms #1) by Natalia Jaster

BOOK REVIEW: Trick (Foolish Kingdoms #1) by Natalia JasterTrick (Foolish Kingdoms #1)
by Natalia Jaster
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

There is a rule amongst his kind: A jester doesn’t lie.

In the Kingdom of Spring, Poet is renowned. He’s young and pretty, a lover of men and women. He performs for the court, kisses like a scoundrel, and mocks with a silver tongue.

Yet allow him this: It’s only the most cunning, most manipulative soul who can play the fool.

For Poet guards a secret.

One the Crown would shackle him for. One that he’ll risk everything to protect.

Alas, it will take more than clever words to deceive Princess Briar.

Convinced that he’s juggling lies as well as verse, this righteous nuisance of a girl is determined to expose him.

But not all falsehoods are fiendish. Poet’s secret is delicate, binding the jester to the princess in an unlikely alliance—and kindling a breathless attraction, as alluring as it is forbidden.

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

 

“Steadfast sure girl, sweet noble thorn,
how lovely-cruel you are.
My body’s taut, my soul is worn,
from the lovely-cruel you are.
The highborn chose the lowest born,
’tis the lovely-cruel you are.
This trick unseen, this fated scorn,
of the lovely-cruel you are.
So when you leave, I shall us mourn,
the lovely-cruel we are.”

What is there to say, really, when you fall head over heels for a book that you didn’t even realize existed??? I picked this up after my friend told me she was sure I’d love it. Was I skeptical? No, not really. Do I trust this person? Absolutely. Was there any doubt I’d love this? Not in the least.

Yet, here we are, and me telling you that, at the beginning…I really didn’t care for this book at all. I liked the opening chapter-it was loud, alluring…mesmerizing. It grabbed onto me with just the short little bit it was. But, once I poured deeper into the story, long after the wicked words our Jester boasted and hooked me line and sinker with, I grew weary. And, frankly, distant. Not because I didn’t love what was going on-I did, truly. But his manner of speech waxed way too poetic (HAR) for me to really grip my claws into his character and see what he was really about.

Tumble inspected me with beady-eyed criticism.
“What?” I asked. “Does my masterpiece clash too much?”
The ferret squeaked.
“Certainly, but you try making the four kingdoms harmonize into one motif.”
He squeaked again.

It felt like a front. It felt like, even as the readers who got to be inside his head every other/few chapters, were held at an arm’s length-and I didn’t like it. Because, in the rare moments he and the princess got together, I felt like they were wasted with the precious breath being tainted by rhymes and riddles and regal-type talk. And, ultimately, I began to disengage and became disappointed. I mean, it felt like it was all smoke and mirrors. Little did I know-that was the whole point.

Whether all of it was intentional or not, I’ll never know. But, riddle me this (muahaha Poet has stolen my heart!)-why is it that, after a certain point in this book (and, really, despite what I said earlier, it wasn’t that far in) literally everything changed because of one moment?

Yet none of these skills can steel the heart, nor protect it from breaking. Recently, I’ve learned that lesson well. So let me tell you a tale of how I lost a battle of wills.
Not to my King. Not to my Queen.
Nay. I lost to a girl.

Enchanting doesn’t even BEGIN to describe the way I felt after…things…but that’s exactly how I felt: enchanted. Poet ripped off his mask, or his makeup, mind you, and we saw beneath the carefully placed veneer he’d built up so no one would see what was underneath.

“My opinion? A fool is a man who believes glory can be found at the tip of a sword instead of on the tip of his tongue. ’Tis a woman who judges with her eyes closed. ’Tis people who invent aberrations from speculation and rumors. ’Tis bred from ignorance. That is life’s cruel trick.”

I think it worth mentioning that, while I had briefly skimmed the synopsis after Britt told me to read this, I really hadn’t read it thoroughly once I’d finished the book I was on, and purchased the kindle book sight unseen. If you can’t have trust in your closest friends, who can you trust? As I mentioned, though, this might be the reason as to why I was so easily fooled by the, well, Fool.

I’m the finest jest you’ll ever know. If you irritate me, I’ll best you with words, for swords are the toys of knights, whilst I use more creative weapons.

My heart melted at the Poet beneath. I became a puddle of goo and a swarm of butterflies all mixed into one, making for a totally weird concoction I can’t begin to fathom a name for. I kid you not, this was like a
totally different book
…because we saw what made Poet tick-and so did the Princess.

“No, of course. But that day when we arrived home, you imitated those jesters for hours, twirling from rock to rock in the grass. And when you fell—”
“I stumbled.”
“—and scraped yourself raw, I never saw the like when I dabbed a wet cloth on your knees. You howled bloody murder.”
My elbow hit the table as I pointed at her. “That part never happened.”

She saw the side to him that had only been hinted at, from the beginning. She saw how kind and wonderful, sweet and brave he was. She saw the loyalty and devotion and determination that ran rivers deep in Poet’s fractured and frantic soul-and so the forbidden tryst began.

I couldn’t say whether Mother was still talking. As we crossed into his line of vision, Poet became aware of me and tensed, his shoulder blades locking.
The crease of his spine. The waist that tapered and then rounded into a solid backside.
Anticipation flared. But he kept advising the girl, sparing me not a glance.
Not until the distance between us grew again.
We craned our heads over our shoulders, our eyes smoldering.

I’ll admit I became a total ninny for everything Poet and Briar henceforth-They were the puppet masters and I their puppet, strung along by the strings of their sordid and heartbreaking affair. I rooted for them with every ounce of my being-even as I wished for the turmoil that was surely to come.

“And don’t think I believe that drivel about you and Poet. You hate each other, you say? Hate is a miserable thing. That’s neither of you. He’s an active lad, born with a voice to spice tarts, but those tarts never made him blush. That isn’t hate, so have a care.”

WHAT. I’m a hot-blooded, fangirling bookish female-fine and dandy just don’t DO IT FOR ME. Anymore, that is. Whatever. I needed some strife, and strife I got. It was wonderful and sordid (yes, repeat repeat wah wah) and hot and wrong-the chemistry set the pages on fire and my heart right along with them.

I nodded to her. Let me do the lying.
She looked away. Good girl.
Bad boy. I still wanted to kiss her.

And when Poet crumbled-my heart and soul did, as well. I just-I truly loved this story and I’m wholly invested in everything to do with it. I’ll admit I’m shocked more people haven’t latched onto this-it really is a remarkable story with a storybook feel (a dirty storybook, I’ll have you:

My damp, thickened breath. A thrust of heavy-lidded lightning. A deep-rooted, thigh-clenching ache in intimate places.

) and a fairytale vibe. The writing was impeccable and the length not too long nor too short, with a gradual build up that makes you beg for more and simultaneously yearn for it to never end, and a climax that tears at your very being.

“The greatest courage a person can have is to love another, for there are only two outcomes. Either the love lasts, and our lives are compromised, or it doesn’t, and our lives are emptied. Either way, we suffer more than we celebrate. I’ve enjoyed suffering with you. We are a tale for campfires. That is all. That is everything.”

Again, I don’t praise many books highly. In fact, there are only 4-6 books out of the 20 or so I’ve read this year that really and truly stand out, and this is, by far, one of them-and one of the best. I have high standards and have read some of my favorite books of all time in the last couple of months-and this one?? This one helped me escape my rabid obsession with two of them-the likes of which have made me a total moron who harasses everyone to read them. This book wouldn’t have had half the heart without Poet’s secret, a secret I normally am not a fan of in books. So… it must have been done well, right? And this story is so much deeper than a romance, which shocked me. It actually had wonderful morals and heart and a depth so intense it stole my breath. Vehemently represented by those with most stake in the matter, this author showed an amazing skill to write about more than just smexy encounters, hidden hallway rendezvous, and stolen looks and touches-though, those were some of my favorite parts ;). Friendship and family and loyalties and learning your place in life-it’s all there. And it’s all wonderfully handled.

A fool is a man who sees his worth in a mirror, in the faces of a crowd, but is blind to it elsewhere. Where it most counts: in the eyes of those he loves and who love him. Don’t insult yourself that way.”

So, give it a try. Really. It’s fun and flirty and romantic and original and tugs on your heartstrings. I don’t think it’ll be for everybody (if only because of random things I care not name), but I think it’s for most. It’s wonderful and addicting and painful to put down-if the purple bags I’m sporting under my eyes today are any indication of my late night reading rampage. Poet and Briar and other characters I dare not to name gripped me in ways I never expected -and I hope they’ll grip you, too.

Oh, and a special shout out to my main ferret, Tumble-a favorite character by far :P.

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5 Comments

  1. I never heard of this book but it sounds like my kind of read. Adding it to my TBR! Thanks for the wonderful review! I’ll definitely check it out! 🙂
    Raven recently posted…Legendary (Caraval #2) By Stephanie Garber [Review]My Profile

  2. Just added this to my TBR! Thank you for sharing! 😀
    Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile recently posted…Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month: June 2018My Profile

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