Conspirator: Ella Pyne *Review*

Cover image of Conspirator by Ella Pyne is in the centre of an image of a dark kingdom. Added text: Leda must return to the place of her nightmares...

Genres: YA Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Fantasy | Release Date: 2 May 2023 | Series: The Gemdark Dynasty | Series Book: #2 | Pages: 356 | Indie Author | Review

“Is there a way to die that doesn’t hurt?”

Ella Pyne


A massive thank you goes to Book Sirens and Ella Pyne for letting me dive into Gemdark once again with Conspirator! Book two in a YA fantasy romance series, I’m going to be completely honest and say I wasn’t sure if the story could be improved upon after Counterpart. But now? Buckle up buttercups, because this second instalment is *even better* than what we read in book one!

A year has passed since the events in Counterpart, and Leda is loving her freedom, living in a small seaside town. Although the gods are wreaking havoc with terrible catastrophes across the Five Kingdoms, Leda is determined to never go back to the palace. But with the siblings she loves falling apart without her, is Leda truly free? Or will she have to go back to the place of her nightmares? A curse is hounding the footsteps of the Counterparts, and the king is a temptation Leda wishes she could forget… Will anyone be left standing by the end?

Cover image of Conspirator by Ella Pyne is to the bottom left of an image of a dark kingdom in snow. Added text: Can Leda survive her time in the palace again? Or will the gods demand her death, as payment for the old king's demise?
Conspirator by Ella Pyne pulls all of the emotions out of the reader… You’re going to love it!

Happiness Boost:

Ella likes to give us eccentric, complicated characters. And honestly, I think Leda’s sister Elina gives Azaria a run for her money in Conspirator! But at the very heart of this story is the love Leda has for her siblings. Even the ones who would kill her without hesitation (yes I’m looking at you, Azaria). And I don’t know why, but it’s comforting to read about this truly dysfunctional family and how they try to fit together again. Is it a redemption story? Probably not. But it has a lot of emotion (and even humour) packed into it!

Once again, this YA fantasy romance broaches subjects like alcoholism and drug addiction. And at no point does Ella or her characters dismiss how hard it is to face these issues. Plenty of stories would, because of course it sounds nicer if people can pretend that it’s a simple fix. But reality is *so* different, so of course this has to go in as a happiness boost! Just because it’s fantasy doesn’t mean issues like this can’t be portrayed realistically.

Okay, I know I said this isn’t really a redemption story. BUT… If you read my review of the first book, you’ll know I was pretty annoyed about Leda’s selfishness. Glitterbugs, this young lady more than makes up for it in Conspirator! Thank you, Ella! This story dives into a lot of big themes, including loss and love. And we get to witness Leda mature in her response to all of this. I honestly couldn’t be happier.


NONE. Yes, you read that right! This, dear bookworms, is a 5 star read.

Final Thoughts:

Conspirator by indie author Ella Pyne is a stunning second instalment in the YA fantasy romance series, The Gemdark Dynasty. I really, really have loved every moment of it. This does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, but oh my goodness… It’s so worth it. You will be left wanting more, and I wish I could read book three right now. This beautiful tale has something for everyone, it really does. Love what you’ve heard from my review? Click on the link below to order a copy of this beauty! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can order Conspirator via this link: Amazon

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