In the final book of the Consortium Rebellion, Chaos Reigning, Catarina the youngest of the von Hasenbergs, takes center stage when the survival of not only her house but the whole Consortium is at stake. Catarina is used to being dismissed by others, hiding her sharp mind and unexpected strength behind frivolous conversations and colorful accessories.Catarina is a fabulous heroine, with a sparkling personality that hides deep hurts and insecurities. Like the previous books in the series, the books are heroine-centered, with the love interest cast in a decidedly secondary role. While Catarina certainly finds Alexander dangerously irresistible his character arc is supportive to Catarina’s narratively and emotionally, single-minded in his desire to protect Catarina, but struggling on to do so while respecting her wishes.
Mihalik focuses on House politics and intrigue in this novel, with most of the action taking place during a house party, crafting a strong sense of menace and tension in which Catarina is deeply comfortable, knowing the ins and outs of the family relationships, proving her ability to judge the intentions of and cultivate loyalty of those she encounters. I loved the focus on this kind of soft power, despite Catarina’s hidden physical prowess and how central Catarina’s deep friendship with Ying Yamado is.
Mihalik delivers a captivating and satisfying conclusion to the Consortium Rebellion saga, full of adventure and intrigue, but never losing sight of the importance of small moments. While I would read a dozen more books in this universe and I hope she is able to return to it at some point, I am ready to follow Mihalik happily to her next space-faring series because I can trust her to deliver great action, fascinating heroines and supportive heroes.
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Content Warnings: Violence, Murder attempts, War, kidnapping, death of parents, Past Trauma: Abuse, non-consensual medical procedures
Ana received an advance copy of this book from the publisher for review.