Book Review: The Liar’s Knot (Rook & Rose #2), by M.A. Carrick

The Liar’s Knot (Rook & Rose, #2)
Fantasy | Publisher: Orbit | Publishing: 9th December 2021 (UK) | Pages: 688 | Netgalley: eARC

Trust is the thread that binds us . . . and the rope that hangs us“.

House Indestor has been destroyed, House Traementis’s curse has been lifted, but Nadezra is far from safe. Pattern shows a web of corruption, and Nadezra is well know for showing the Mask instead of the Face.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Synopsis: House Indestor has fallen and House Traementis is rising but Nadezra is far from safe and Ren is caught in the middle. With her con in action, Ren finds herself drawn into the web of corruption that threatens the heart of Nadezra.


Oh oh oh, I really enjoyed book 1 in the Rook and Rose series (Book Review: The Mask Of Mirrors (Rook And Rose #1), by M. A. Carrick) so I absolutely had to read book 2 – The Liar’s Knot – and I was incredibly lucky to get an eARC of it. And, let me tell you, it did not disappoint! I absolutely LOVED this book, it truly delivered what it promised. (Sidenote: just look at that cover 👀 isn’t it gorgeous?! I really want that mask!)

Ok, so – getting into the book the first thing I have to point out is that this series is so delightfully intricate that even after you finish the book you are still remembering and noticing things and details. Not to mention just how intricately crafted the cards used in Pattern are – I really do adore reading Ren Pattern someone it’s so fascinating (I also desperately want a set of these cards!).

The Liar’s Knot, by M.A. Carrick is an excellent second instalment that definitely hits the mark – perfectly moving the story along without feeling like a lulling middle book. We pick up shortly after the events of book 1; Renata (Ren) is adopted into House Traementis, Nadezra is recovering from the corruption of House Indestor, The Rook knows too much about Renata, and Vargo ~made mistakes~. As if the events of book 1 weren’t devastating enough, Book 2 really gets you in the heart.

Much like book 1, The Liar’s Knot is beautifully written – honestly the attention to detail is truly amazing. The book is paced well and is well balanced with plenty of action scenes, tension and emotional moments. The pace works well with the POV and narration and perfectly balances all the tension and emotional build ups we get throughout the book. The descriptions of the settings are rich and atmospheric, the characters are dynamic and complex (not to mention their WARDROBES!), and the prose flows incredibly well. All around, the book is beautifully constructed and a delight to read.

Now onto the plot. Our beloved mc is now juggling four identities; her own/real self (Ren), her con (Alta Renata), her Szorza (Arenza), and her newest identity (The Black Rose) – though to be fair to Ren, one of these identities was not technically assumed by choice. So Ren has a lot going on. Ok – so, Alta Renata is now a Traementis and is, much to her discomfort, working with Vargo on the river Numinat from book 1. However, now that House Traementis is on the rise, Renata has a lot going on from managing the House to dealing with a very new and very odd situation. On the other hand, Arenza is following down leads from the consequences of book 1 and finds herself caught up in other issues. Finally, The Black Rose finds herself tangled up with the Rook and the Vigilante side of Nadezra. The plot revolves mostly around these three facades and the web of secrets and consequences that binds them.

Alongside all of Ren’s brilliantly twisty, secret filled story – we also get a lot more about The Rook. Of course, we now know his identity but Ren does not and this makes for some absolutely brilliant scenes throughout the book – we still get the wit, humour, and sarcasm of book 1 and they definitely come out in any and all interactions between The Rook, Grey, Ren/The Black Rose. I really enjoyed watching The Rook and Grey’s characters become more fleshed out we learn much more about both of them and it really added to the character development and the wider world/story. Also, I have to acknowledge the flirting (we got some in book 1 but it increases in this book) that occurs throughout the Rook and Rose’s interactions (in and out of their masked identities) it was on point – the chemistry was perfect and it was so much fun to read about, especially when they get a bit carried away!

We also get to learn a lot more about Vargo – which was excellent! We learn more about his true motivations and we get to see him interact with Ren (now she knows the truth about book 1’s events) and other characters. I really enjoyed watching how each of the characters stories became more entwined as the book went on, the shifting alliances, the untrustworthy promises and some very dangerous missions made everything about this book thrilling. However, we also get some incredibly comical scenes too with Vargo’s interactions with other certain characters that definitely had me laughing!

Not to mention all the wonderful side characters we get to learn more about too – Peabody is brilliant, Tess (and her dresses!) and Sedge are as wonderful as ever, Arkady is back and is even more brilliant than before, and we get to see so many other fantastic characters grow over the course of the story!

I really ejoyed how all the secrets were handled in this book. Nobody knows everything, all the secret plots/identities etc… but everyone knows something. However, as we progress through the book people learn different things at different times, and it was so well done – I was never confused about who knew what and the reveals were brilliantly done, and yet enough secrets were maintained to keep us well and truly excited for book 3! I also loved the new elements introduced in this book, and seeing how they linked to book 1 (while I can’t tell you, I have to say It was so interesting watching these new elements play out – especially with all the characters we get to see through it).

The Liar’s Knot does an excellent job at giving us more plot and great character development, but we also get a lot of emotion in this book too. We see the characters in new situations from more relaxed and causal setting to dangerous and high stakes one – this really let us get to see all the sides of our beloved characters and really opened up our connections with them. The book allows for tender moments and emotional converations between all the Pattern, cons and numinat that really gets at your heart. I absolutly adored seeing more sides to Ren, Vargo, and Grey – as well as many other characters! (Also NOX/Clever Natalya! Such a sweet gesture!!).

Finally, the book ends in quite a nice way, and it definitely leaves you excited for book 3! There is so much more I want to know – I cannot wait to see where book 3 takes us and what we will get to learn about the world next! There is such an intensity and intricacy to this series that makes the world and characters feel so incredibly real that you cannot help but love every turn the story makes. In such a rich world there is always more to learn, it’s so expansive and I am so excited to continue!

I really could go on and on about this book but I’ll start treading in Spoiler waters so I’ll have to stop here, unfortunately!

However, overall – The Liar’s Knot by MA Carrick is a phenomenal second installment in a magical series that takes everything you loved about book one and then gives you EVEN more. We get more characters and character development, more Pattern, more about Numinat, more world, more plot, and more secrets and reveals. I loved every second of this book and cannot wait for book 3!

“May you see the Face, and not the Mask”

*I received a #Netgalley eARC in exchange for an honest review! Thank you Orbitbooks!*


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