Review: The Exiles by Katherine Barger

The Exiles by Katherine Barger

The Exiles (Exiled Trilogy #2)
Katherine Barger
Anaiah Press
Published November 2, 2021

Amazon  | Goodreads

About The Exiles

Nothing could have prepared Nyssa Ardelone for the treachery that lurks inside Fortune’s Fall. What began as a joyful reunion with her family soon plunges into chaos, with Nyssa at the center of misplaced accusations that could be catastrophic for everyone. Confused and still grief-stricken over the friends she’s lost, Nyssa begins to question whether her journey to Fortune’s Fall was worth the cost.

When she learns that President Omri has arrested the exiles and plans to send them to the most notorious prison in America, Nyssa’s convinced Omri’s punishing them for her sins, and she sinks into even deeper despair. But there might be a way to save them, and Nyssa jumps at the chance to remedy what she feels is her fault.

The task is dangerous, though, and if she fails, she’ll lose everything. If she succeeds, the people of Fortune’s Fall will embrace her at last, and the path will open for their ultimate return to Maren—the home Omri stole from them fifteen years ago. With the help of family and a few unlikely allies, Nyssa sets out to make things right. But the stakes are higher than before, and her newfound faith has grown shaky. When the mission doesn’t go as planned, Nyssa faces a choice unlike any she’s ever had: press on despite her doubts, or give up and leave the exiles—and everyone she loves—to their fate.

The Exiles on Goodreads

My Review

I think one of the things I liked about this book is that it balances Nyssa’s youth with her power, if that makes sense. Like, I had no trouble believing in her being a teenager. Sometimes when I read YA the characters feel really adult, and even though Nyssa’s an independent person who has been on her own for a long time, she still felt like a teenager. She still wrestled with a lot of becoming-an-adult types of things. While sometimes she took on a leadership role, other times, she was still kind of treated like a kid. That felt pretty true to what I’d imagine a teen in her position would experience.

I liked the moments when she took ownership of her situation and was the person coming up with the plan or idea. Sometimes that role went to other characters– her brother or other friends– and I wish I’d had a chance to see her in the driver’s seat more often.

Based on the way THE EXILES ends, I feel like Nyssa will have a lot more opportunity to be assertive and own her story in the last book in the trilogy. I’m interested to see how all that plays out.

This book hits a lot of the right notes with its dystopian story world and high stakes plot. I think fans of dystopian stories like The Safe Lands series by Jill Williamson or HEARTLESS HEIRS by MarcyCate Connolly will like this series. If you haven’t read FORTUNE’S FALL, the first book in the series, I would recommend starting with that one.

The Exiles on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Main characters are white.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
Kiss between boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
Main characters believe in God even though it opposes the culture and rule of the country’s president.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Some scenes showing torture.

Drug Content

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of THE EXILES in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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