Glorious Poison is the third and final book in the Battalion of the Dead trilogy so there may be vague spoilers for the previous books, Dangerous Remedy and Monstrous Design, in this review.
Robespierre is dead. The Reign of Terror is over. As Royalist strength grows, the Duc de L’Aubespine plots a coup that will consign the revolution to history. With Olympe in his clutches and one of the Battalion playing spy, they will all have to rely on one another – however hard that might be – in order to make the right choices and potentially save France’s future.
Boy was Glorious Poison a bit of a tough read in comparison to the previous books. There are still schemes and political machinations and friendship but everything looks so bleak for the heroes that it can be a painful and sad read at times. As well as the overarching plot of trying to stop the Duc which seems like an impossible task, so many of the characters are going through life changing events and are having new traumas added to the ones they already had.
Friendships and loyalties are tested as characters are each going through some form of emotional turmoil and are often trying to hide their true feelings and motivations from the others. This trilogy has always been about the choices people can make, both good and bad, and then the consequences from those choices and that’s never been so prominent as it is in Glorious Poison. The choice to live, the choice to love, the choice to fight, the choice to trust – it all slowly builds as uncertain alliances are made in order to achieve their goal of saving Olympe and stopping the Duc.
Throughout the trilogy the setting has always been vivid and now in Glorious Poison we’re back in Paris and with a sudden change of leadership the city, and the country, is on a knifes edge. The differences between the upper and lower classes are stark once again as those who were under threat by the Revolution, are now able to be more free with their luxuries.
Though it is often a story where the characters feel hopeless, Glorious Poison is a testament to the strength of friendship and found family, and when one character might not believe in themselves, they’ll find others will. Overall Glorious Poison is a smart and satisfying end to this trilogy. 4/5.