“I don’t want to be a princess. I don’t want the spotlight and the chaos and the duty. But more than that, I want the people I love to be safe, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.” – 52%
Take the Key and Lock Her Up (2016) is the third installment in Ally Carter’s Embassy Row series, following All Fall Down and See How They Run. Once more, we plunge into the disturbed mind of teenage Grace Blakely in this fast-paced, nonstop international action/thriller for young adults.
Grace and her brother, Jamie, have just learned a centuries-old secret about their true heritage, which threatens the royal family of Adria, the secret women’s Society their mother once belonged to, and possibly the peace in Europe. With Grace’s Russian love interest, the stoic Alexei, the youths and their protector are on the run for their lives. Jamie has been seriously injured, and Grace fears the worst for her brother if he doesn’t seek medical help. Desperate to keep him alive, Grace throws herself to the wolves, only to be met with an impossible compromise.
This whole Embassy Row series really is excellent, and the third and final book pulled out all the stops. Everything major connected nicely in the grand finale, which was truly a nail-biter. I liked the whole ‘nursery rhyme’ theme running through the series and how the rhyme held centuries-old answers. I also enjoyed that these books have a cast of characters full of brave, bright and powerful women. Take the Key and Lock Her Up has everything from our hard-edged, not-your-ordinary narrator, action, international intrigue and a dash of romance, to high-stakes danger, fictional but fun history, and royal secrets. If you like the idea of an action series for teens with a darker twist on The Selection, mixed with the history of Anastasia Romanov, then these are the books for you! Five stars to a trilogy well-done. I’d love to read more.
“There are few things in the world scarier than the unknown.” – 7%
“Maybe I should set Valancia on fire—burn the whole world down. Maybe then I could stop running.” – 52%
“I look at the old-fashioned key that still lies in the palm of the king’s large hand. It doesn’t look like it should hold any power at all. But once upon a time it changed the world.” – 76%
“…what’s going to haunt me more in the future—memories or regrets?” – 85%
“I know how the human mind can be—how it’s both wonderfully strong and terribly frail, and how, if necessary, a person can rewrite history, even if only for themselves.” – 94%