Book Reviews

Book Review ‘Amnesty’ ~ Lara Elena Donnelly

AmnestyAmnesty by Lara Elena Donnelly

Publication Date: April 16th 2019

Publisher: Tor Books

Series: Amberlough Dossier #3

Blurb: The revolution has come and gone, with Amberlough City striving to rebuild itself from the ashes. The Ospies have been ousted, and the very face of the nation has been changed in the process.

Now, a rising politician is determined to bring Amberlough’s traitors to justice.

Including double agent Cyril DePaul.

Everyone believes Cyril deserves to suffer for his crimes… except an old lover and an estranged sister. Soon, they become entangled in another web of high-stakes politics, underground crime, and personal deceit. Only the most extreme actions can save them from the iron reach of the law, before it is too late.



Have you ever read a book and wondered what happened after the revolution? How the characters coped with the aftermath once the dust had settled? What was the cost? Amnesty is that book, with the revolution having come and gone in the five years between Armistice and Amnesty. Donnelly answers these questions with her signature elegant and emotive prose and magnificent characters.

“You know…I don’t mind disappointing people. Perhaps that’s a flaw in my character, but I think it has rather more to do with other people’s failure to manage their own expectations. And everyone seems to have such varied expectations of me, how could I hope to fulfil them all?”

Admittedly as much as I am one to wonder what happens after a revolution, I was a little worried that perhaps Amnesty wouldn’t be as gripping, after all the action is done and dusted. However, the Amberlough Dossier has first and foremost always been a character driven story and Donnelly truly excels at this. Amnesty is as gripping and heart-wrenching as the first two books.

Amnesty is about consequences and the impacts of choices made, even when it was the only choice you had. Every main character has been motivated by different things, some for love, some for survival and some to hit back. In the Amberlough Dossier though there are few truly good people, instead there are people that are sometimes morally grey, sometimes self-serving and oftentimes making the best of a terrible situation. And in Amnesty, justice is being demanded.

If I am being honest with myself, there was a part of me that knew *that* death was coming given the ending of Armistice – but I didn’t want to be honest and I can’t believe Donnelly made us face the facts. I do think that it was a fitting end for the character given who they are but I still missed their voice in Amnesty.

Seeing Aristide and Cyril meet again after almost 8 years was heartbreaking. Neither one had been unaffected by the intervening years, the war and the Ospies. Cyril in particular is suffering from PTSD from his time in enemy hands and he’s scarred inside and out.

There was a part of me sitting there wishing they’d just get back together and get an easy happily ever after, sans complications. As well as thinking: ‘would you two just learn to communicate for Christ’s sake’. But they can’t be anyone but themselves and I am very glad that wasn’t the case. It couldn’t be easy after all they’ve been through and Cyril had a lot of guilt to work through and Donnelly handled his trauma with care. The last scene with those two killed me. I really really hope this isn’t the last we’ll see of them, I’ll take anything – a short story etc.

On that note I’d love to see more of Cyril and Stephen. I’m not sure how it would work given the ending but one can dream. I really enjoyed their dynamic and how Cyril took Stephen under his wing in a way. Not that Lillian and Jinadh were particularly happy about it.

“Small lies. Do you promise?”

Amnesty was a fantastic conclusion to the glamorous and devastating Amberlough Dossier. This is one of my favourite series, these characters stay with you long after you put the books down. For vintage spy glam, chaotic disaster gays and high stakes, pick up the Amberlough Dossier and be prepared to be swept away.

Find Amnesty
Goodreads ~ Dymocks ~ Readings ~ QBD ~ Booktopia ~ Book Depository ~ Amazon

Find Lara Elena Donnelly
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