Fool Me Twice, Court of Pain #2 by Ariana Nash

Fool Me Twice is the conclusion to Arian Nash's Court of Pain duology. Can Arin and Lark endure more danger and lies as their objective to stop the evil Razak is constantly derailed with Razak always being one step ahead of them? Arin believes their love is enough, but Lark still wrestles with whether he is a villain or hero in his journey towards redemption.

From the blurb:

The epic, heart-wrenching conclusion to the Court of Pain duology. Spanning four courts, devious and doomed royals, and the most unlikely of loves between a prince and his fool.

They say in the darkest of times, the brightest star has no choice but to shine.

I’m no star, nor am I a hero. But I could be the villain. To protect Arin from Razak’s scheming, I’ll have to be.

He’s my shaft of sunlight through the storm, my hope in the darkest of times, but Prince Arin is also my weakness. And Razak knows it.

The shatterlands are under threat, the crowns are missing, and as the pieces of Razak’s puzzle begin to fall into place, its picture becomes clear.

It was never about the crowns, or the courts.

It was never about vengeance, or spite.

It was always about love.

And Razak will not stop until he’s destroyed mine, and all the shatterlands with it.

Court of Pain is a dual point of view, dark MM fantasy duology brimming with courtly spice, morally ambiguous characters, and the fool who plays them all.

This is a dark world with potentially distressing content. For more information on content warnings, please visit the author's website.

SNik's Review:

Second in duology (Court of Pain). Fantasy. Dual POV. Heed content warnings. 

Trying to survive and recover from the latest machinations of Razak in his bid to become a god, Arin and Lark along with Draven are still intent on stopping Razak’s deadly plans to rule over all the courts. Risky endeavors, tons of scheming and plenty of disappointments plague them along the way. 

While Arin tries to convince Lark that he is worthy of love, Lark is intent on making sure Arin lives long enough to have a future once they destroy Razak. Everyone is still lying to themselves and each other, and Arin and Lark make brave decisions, sacrifice for each other and still remain intent on stopping Razak. 

More adventure, helpful and unhelpful allies, violence and steam abound in this conclusion. I enjoyed Arin’s commitment to Lark no matter what, and even though Lark struggled and kept pushing him away, they still maintained their love and hopes. 

If you enjoy a sweeping adventure full of twists and devoted characters that keep overcoming adversity then this duology will surely entertain.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Jacquie's Review:

Tricky one to rate since I have such complicated feelings about this one. I loved it, but Lark and Arin really put the reader through it.

Fool Me Twice is an experience. I read it over days to keep myself emotionally distant because, wow, some things were challenging. Heed those trigger warnings! I think at some point, I'll go over the duology again and really soak it all in.

Lark and Arin have a beautiful love for each other, that's not to say things are easy for them. There's anger, pain, betrayal, so many emotions for them to wade through. I think that they really have something worth all the pain.

As always there are twists and turns along with beautiful writing.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sheena's Review:

Where to start with this book ... it's a behemoth.  I adored the first book, and dropped everything as soon as I had this in my hands as I HAD to have more of Lark and Arin.  I adore Lark, and would stop at nothing to see him get his HEA.  While I say that, there was more than one occasion where I wanted to simultaneously hug him, and give him a good talking to for being so damn stupid and misguided.  

This series is nothing short of epic, Lark and Arin's story is the stuff of the greatest fantasy stories, and features a villain who really does make Joffrey from Game of Thrones look like a normal, well adjusted and sane fellow.  I've never wanted someone to get their comeuppance more than Razak, he really made my blood boil with his casual cruelty and the way he'd treat people (poor Theo, that's all I'll say - he really did not deserve that fate).  

I could go on and on about how much I love this series, but that would be a never ending post with lots of spoilers, so I won't do that, but I will urge any fantasy lovers to pick up this duology because like me, you'll fall for Lark and Arin and want to see them snatch that tiny bit of happiness they so richly deserve, and also see Razak get what he truly deserves, too.

The easiest 5 stars I've ever given to a book, ever.

Rating: 5 Stars

Miki J's Review:

What an epic fantasy duology!! This was a non-stop rollercoaster of emotions with plenty of twists upon twists that just totally frustrated me... and yet I could not put the book down!!! You really do need to read them in order but be warned, sleepless nights are ahead.   

The story is rich with details and of epic proportions... plenty of depth to sink your teeth into!! Told from 2 POV's - Lark and Arin - we see how their relationship changes and develops, along with trying to save the world... but this is no clean sparkly hero on white steed stuff... morals are not black and white... and yet there is good found.

This is truly a fantastic fantasy !! 

Rating: 5 Stars

Fool Me Twice is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.