After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on the warpath. One wrong move, and her cousin will step into usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.
Roma is still reeling from Marshall’s death, and his cousin, Benedikt, will barely speak to him. Roma knows it’s his fault for letting the ruthless Juliette back into his life, and he’s determined to set things right – even if that means killing the girl he hates and loves with equal measure.
Then a new monstrous danger emerges in the city, and though secrets keep them apart, Juliette must secure Roma’s cooperation if they are to end this threat once and for all. Shanghai is already at a boiling point: the Nationalists are marching in, whispers of civil war brew louder every day and gangster rule faces complete annihilation. Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to combat monsters and politics, but they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other.
A fantastic follow up to These Violent Delights, Our Violent Ends is an imaginative and brilliantly written retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1920 Shanghai. The setting is vividly imagined, rich in culture and blended with fabulous fantasy elements. In this instalment there is not quite as much focus on the monsters of Shanghai, more so the continued feud between the White Flowers and the Scarlets and the added tension from the Communists and Nationalists. This is a city teetering on the brink of a civil war that could potentially destroy the gangs. There is a lot more attention to the politics of the world and exploration of the characters and relationships introduced in book one. It is quite an intense story and there is a lot going on but the author’s fluid writing style makes it easy to follow and the unexpected plot twists and turns creates a compelling and intriguing read.
Although the story centres on Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai, there are some brilliant side characters. I adored the connection Juliette had with Marshall and the lovely relationship dynamic between Marshall and Benedikt which really stood out for me in this novel. The enemies-to-lovers romance is done to perfection, one minute they are absolutely furious with each other and the next consumed with passion and the chemistry between them is palpable. The undercurrent of tension present throughout the storyline gives the uneasy feeling something bad is about to happen. I was rooting for Roma and Juliette throughout and willing it not to end in tragedy as in the original tale.
A beautifully written series with wonderful characters and set against the amazing backdrop of Shanghai. The ending is action-packed, explosive and although it is left a little open-ended it ended satisfactorily. I really enjoy duologies and this one was really well done with great pacing. I’m looking forward to the release of the 1930s spin off series next year, featuring a character from this book.
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Publication Date (UK): 16 November 2021
Series: These Violent Delights #2
Page Count: 526
Genre: YA Fantasy
Thank you to the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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