BOOK REVIEW: Glow (The Plated Prisoner #4) by Raven KennedyGlow (The Plated Prisoner #4)
by Raven Kennedy
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


"I was nothing but a road to Midas. A means to get to where he wanted to go, and I paved that path in gold."

My life has been made up of gilded lies. But death has been shaped from rot.

Like a phoenix caught fire, I will need to rise from the ashes and learn to wield my own power. Because my wings may have been clipped, but I am not in a cage, and I'm finally free to fly from the frozen kingdoms I've been kept in.

Yet the world doesn't want to let me.

That's the thing when you turn against a king—everyone else turns against you.

Good thing I have a different king in my corner.

But even with the dark threat of Slade Ravinger, the other monarchs are coming for me.

So I will fight for him and he will kill for me, and if we need to become the villains, then so be it.

Because so long as I live in this world, I won't be used again.

Please note: This is an adult fantasy series with dark elements that may be triggering, including past emotional and physical trauma, violence, adult language, and explicit romance. Read at your own discretion.


“I know what you went through was horrible, but for what it’s worth, I am glad that you’re here in this world with me,” I say quietly.
His eyes soften. “Oh, Goldfinch. I would’ve found you in whatever world you were in. In whatever life.”

The wait for this book has been one of the most unbearable to date, so imagine my disappointment when I realize the release date isn’t a Tuesday-like most standard releases-but a Saturday, when I am literally the MOST tired, the BUSIEST, and the LEAST likely to get much more than a few percent in reading wise. It seems backwards, doesn’t it? Well, let’s see. It’s summer, for one-Pools, lakes, outside play of the highest form. Secondly, my husband stays up later-Look, I love you, Man, but I have BOOKS to read: Go. The FUCK. To sleep.


That’s the thing with trauma to the body—it shows up instantly. In breaks and bruises, in burns and in blood. But the trauma on the inside, that’s harder to see. It creeps around your mind, poisons you with disquiet. It can hit you out of nowhere, debilitating and ruinous. There are no marks visible for those. None, save the shadows in your eyes.

SO, as you can see, I was in a bit of turmoil over this. I’ll admit it stunted my enjoyment, which truly breaks my heart in a way I can never fully express, and I’m too stubborn to just wait until a Monday or Tuesday night as I see all the reviews rolling in from people who literally read it at 12 am when it released and just did. Not. Stop. I applaud you, really I do. But…you fueled my competitive juices, not to mention my insatiable need to devour my favorite series like the drug addict I am and to avoid spoilers at ALL costs. So-I started at midnight along with my fellow ravenous readers, but failed to succeed in the same way (ie tired eyes, irritable mood because I couldn’t fully immerse). Also…how can I function with a two and a half and 5 year old after staying up so late reading every weeknight, you ask? Well…I make it work. My husband and I are made of different stuff, and if I had to give up my miniscule few hours every night to myself and give up reading, I’d lose a piece of myself, my soul, my sanity-and that’s not something I’m willing to do. So, with the DARKEST and PUFFIEST circles under my eyes, I write this review after staying up late reading another book last night, and I go about my day a bit withered, but no worse for wear. It’s called priorities people, look it up.

I let out a shaky laugh, relaxing when they all start to drink and talk and eat, relaxing even more when I join in.
And for a while, that’s all there is. That’s all that matters. I clutch my words and stay balanced on the blade, and for now, it works. For now, I don’t have to reflect or process or talk. I don’t have to face anything real.
For now.

But this is where I have to interject and say that this is the mark of an amazing writer or, rather, to get to a more direct point-it’s the mark of an amazing series that has stolen my heart so completely that even stretching the book out over many many many days over just waiting and binging over the weeknights didn’t change the fact that I loved it and know it’s worth. Am I as fangirly as I would have been had this released at a better or more planned out time for me? No. But the love is deep, it swims in my soul with a warm glowing feel of gold, and I know that I am still just as in love had I binged it-and I know that my re-read will bring all those neurotic feels I so desperately crave and covet and accept with each reading of my all-time favorite series’.

“You said past, present, and future, right?”
He sucks in a breath, but I look him in the eye without faltering. Because the only way to walk a new path is to stop yourself from using the same stumbling stride.
Even if his present is as shocking as a living corpse.
Even if his past might break my heart.
Even if his future isn’t guaranteed.

This book had a lot of soul in it, a lot growth-building of heart and mind and inner strength. Pushing yourself to the brink to release the evil that was pushed on you, that made you grow into a cowering shadow of yourself-to find who you are, what you are capable of, and who you are meant to be. And, while seeing this inner strength erupt from Auren and seeing her do it for herself-just this once, to embrace someone she didn’t think she’d ever find again-was nothing short of astounding and well-worth the wait (absolutely gratifying)….but, I’m sorry, she’d have never found this inner strength without a certaaiiiinnnn someone helping her, encouraging her, and giving her support and strength along the way-giving her that confidence she truly needed-Rip.

He wants to yank out the stopper holding in my anguish while I’m still desperately trying to keep my fingers pressed to the cork.

Have I….have I mentioned Rip before? How much I adore him? Cherish him? Want to wind him around my finger and summon him with a come hither every minute of every hour of every day? How his confidence [cocky without being an ass], his power [I mean…IYKYK], his possessiveness [without being a control freak], his charm [again, IYKYK], his absolute willingness to stand behind the woman he loves without batting an eye, his willingness to be the villain in her story, be the villain for her, not to her….did I mention that? That I abso-fucking-lutely love him and I’m tRaSh for him?? Hmm. Doesn’t ring a bell.

I won’t allow another storm to touch Auren. She has been flooded and wrung out, left to take the barrage without shelter. But so long as I’m here, I will be her shelter.

But let’s talk about that last Rip fact, shall we? We don’t talk about this enough collectively, in my opinion. People shout their praises that they love villains, the villain arc, the idea that sometimes bad guys can get the girl…and let’s be clear-Rip is NOT the villain, no matter what he says (lol), but he does some very twisted, very morally gray things that keep him from being classified a golden boy hero. My favorite thing, really-morally gray while ACTUALLY being morally grayand without a hint of remorse, either. Be still, my beating heart. But, yes, Rip’s morally gray moments stem wholly from doing whatever it takes-and I’m talking whatever it takes-for those he loves. For those he swore to protect. For those he cherishes. For those that are too weak to do so themselves….and for Auren? The love of his life? He’d do whatever it takes…no matter the cost.

I shake my head. “No, you wouldn’t. You’re good. You’re—”
“No, Goldfinch,” he interrupts. “I’m good to you. But I am every bit the villain that I warned you I was.”
His previous words ring in my ears.
I’ll be the villain for you. Not to you.

But is the cost too great, this time? Things really begin to crumble in this story, collapsing around Rip in a torrent so strong he almost begins to lose his cool. Events collide, people turn, and he loses some very important support-or rather, it hangs on a very precarious balance-that makes him question everything. But, another thing I just love about this series, is Rip’s Wrath. They support him always, they’re the friend group I never knew I needed, and I love that they add some much needed levity in an otherwise somewhat darker story than we’re used to-and that’s saying something when a lot of it has centered around sex work and children being kidnapped to do so. Maybe this is just my take and this one effected me differently, but the triggers are not gone nor did they disappear-they just continue in different forms, so be warned.

I also wanted throw in, as a kind of afterthought I guess, that I loved seeing a lot of Rip’s past in the form of flashbacks. As if I needed anything else to make me love him more.

I grit my teeth. Fist my sore hand. Feel a line of blood drip from my eyebrow. I stare at The Breaker, and I hate. One day, I think to myself. One day, I will break you instead. But until then, I will learn control.

All that being said, I really think what I’m trying to encapsulate [in a super circumvent way] is that these books grow, they build, and they continue to only get better. I’m sorry, but this SHOCKS me. I picked these books up by MISTAKE, and now they are kind of a big part of my recent ‘These books are my whole life, my whole world, my very existence and next breath’ movement (I can be a bit dramatic, we know this) and I just…I’m so grateful.

I’ve always been treated like treasure, but with ****, I’m simply treasured.

I’ve stated before that these books have hit some nerves from my past, some personal triggers that will likely always be inescapable-but I’m stronger for them. I’ve also identified that some of these books hit home in a way I don’t care to evaluate too much, but see and recognize all the same. I’m known to over-highlight and obsesses over passages like they’re my savior, my personal bible. But these hit different, especially the first three books as I wasn’t as focused on those moments in this one (IYKYK), and I found myself highlighting passages just for ME in yellow (my review quote color), because they just….hit home. And Raven Kennedy…I see you for that. I didn’t like looking at myself in the mirror like that, but it was something I respected myself for identifying with, and I love that it showed my own personal growth, no matter how grotesque to analyze and observe.

I let myself cry until all my tears dry up. It’s not ragged or turbulent anymore. Instead, it’s quiet. Slow. The kind of tears your expression lets fall without fanfare. There is no choked breathing or scrunched up nose. No pulled lips or furrowed brow. This is the suffering of the silent. A hurt so deep it doesn’t show itself on a face.

SO, all in all, I think what I’m getting at is this-these books are special to me, they hold a very deep place in my heart and in my soul, and they only continue to get better-maybe not for everyone. Maybe not in content…but in strength and heart. And I think that’s something amazing, something to behold. And I cannot wait (or maybe I can. I hate final books almost always…they almost never end a series in a way I like or find believable, but I have tentative hope for Kennedy) to see how two of the newest editions to my rabid ride-or-die-or-perish-in-a-sea-of-feels OTPs fare. I hope they all find their happily ever after….or, ya know, I’ll perish in a sea of not-so-great feels.

“You slept in here with me?”
To say I’m taken aback is putting it mildly. The idea that he would stay with me makes me feel oddly vulnerable.
He cocks his head. “Where else would I be if not with you?”

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