For too long, Violet and the people of the outer circles of the Lone City have lived in service of the royalty of the Jewel. But now, the secret society known as the Black Key is preparing to seize power.

While Violet knows she is at the center of this rebellion, she has a more personal stake in it—for her sister, Hazel, has been taken by the Duchess of the Lake. Now, after fighting so hard to escape the Jewel, Violet must do everything in her power to return not only to save Hazel, but the future of the Lone City.

I’ve been trying to process my feelings towards this book for the past two days and I think I’m more or less back to how I felt when I finished the first book. I think the second book was just so good for me that I had so many high hopes for this trilogy’s conclusion and I was slightly disappointed. There was a definite slowing down here, in my opinion, but overall it was still a good story and a good conclusion. I liked most of this book, I really did, I promise. But for some reason I can’t put my finger on what’s bothering me. Hopefully as I go through my reviewing process I can figure it out. We better get started.

As always, I cannot properly review this book without revealing major spoilers so a giant SPOILER ALERT is now in effect.


  • The one thing that I have constantly praised about this book was how girl positive it was and how we never had any unnecessary girl hate and again, this book delivered. I loved how in the beginning we saw Violet and Raven at Southgate, telling the new surrogates their plan and showing them who they really are, and we just see how the girls all support one another and want to fight together. It showed me how important it is for these girls to have one another and even Violet said that being around other girls, or Paladins, grounds them so I love this message. What I loved even more was when we got further into the book and Violet was back near Carnelian and she had this moment of realization that she had no reason to hate her and how it was essentially a waste of time hating her and being jealous. It’s probably the biggest reason of why I respect Violet so much so I proud of her for getting over her “hatred” for Carnelian and finally saw her for who she is.
  • I liked how the whole revolution against the royalty was a true joint effort and how it was something that involved every single person. Sometimes when I’m reading a dystopian like this the main focus is on this small group of people revolting and they kind of just hoped the other people would get involved. But I think for this one, for the Black Key, it not only included the rest of the circles but it NEEDED them. Ash showed Violet that when he brought in the companions and turned them to their side. We even saw it with the Regimentals Garnet managed to bring to their side as well and it showed how many lives the royalty truly effected and how this revolution went beyond the surrogates and I liked that. It was about breaking down the walls and bringing everyone together. I also liked how in the end the Black Key decided to hold trials and judgement for the royalty instead of straight up killing them all; it reminded me of the Nuremberg trials which is definitely NOT the same thing but I’m always good with trials and judgement.
  • I’m actually so proud of Garnet and the way his character has developed. He gave me so much hope in the end of the first book and in the next two he really proved his worth. Even though he never loved Coral you could tell he cared for her, maybe like a friend would, and I respected that. He also cared very much about how the royalty and their lives affected the rest of the circles’ lives and it shows how different he was from his mother. He never disappointed me once and again, I’m so proud of his development.
  • So I was basically wrong about the Duchess being the lesser of two evils because that woman is batshit crazy. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a wonderful villain and the kind that just makes you want to kill her yourself, but wow I was wrong. Is it weird that I still kind of like her character? Not because she’s horrible but I just like how she was written and how she was like an evil you’d suspect but not that evil, you know? She always kept you on your toes, that’s for sure.
  • I’m also super proud of Carnelian and what she did in the end. She was the perfect person for that.


  • I feel like some of the writing kind of fell flat for me in this book, and it’s sad because I loved how great it was previously. But I think here the issue was all the recaps of past events. Sure, it was in the second book and it bothered me a bit there too but it wasn’t overwhelming. But in this book, there were so many things to recap and honestly it felt like it was a list of events most of the time. I know, I know, when you have a yearly gap between books you’re thankful for recaps but when you read them all in a row within the same two weeks the recaps are annoying. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it.
  • Another point about the writing but since this is a first person POV, we only get to see what Violet sees and I think for the first two books it was fine but for this one you wanted to see what everyone else was doing, especially after Violet left. I wanted to see how Raven was doing with the rest of the surrogates and how Ash was doing with the companions but we never could. I just would’ve liked to see how all the sides of the revolt were coming together.
  • Why, oh why, did Lucien have to die? I didn’t want that at all. And it meant that Violet would pretty much be the leader of the revolution now and that’s the last thing I wanted because I liked her not being the leader. I get she “leads” the Paladin but the whole revolution? That’s a bit excessive. And I know there’s always death in dystopian revolutions but there was a bit too much death here for me. I wanted all those girls to live.


  • While this series conclusion was a bit lackluster and not as epic as I truly wanted it to be, it was a nice, satisfying way to end the series. The story still managed to find its own voice to be separate from it’s comparable stories and had some great plot twists along the way. Also, the covers are beyond beautiful and have constantly pleased me; I think this one is my favourite.

BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF



Title: The Black Key (The Lone City #3)
Author: Amy Ewing
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Pages: 295 (Hardcover)

Until next time,


What did you think of the book? Leave a comment below!

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