Book Review – Secondborn by Amy. A Bartol (Spoiler-Free!)



Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.

On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.

Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.

But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?


I’m going to start of by saying that I enjoyed this book. However, it did take me a little longer to get through as the first few chapters of the book didn’t really interest me. I get that it sets the scene and everything, but I was just confused as to where the author was taking the story, and when we would get there! The second half, on the other hand, was brilliant. I read the last 5 chapters or so in one sitting. There’s one big event, and then I was like.. OH, this is where the plot is going, and it all started to make sense and I couldn’t put the book down!

I really liked the main character, Roselle. She had most of the characteristics I like in a person, such as selflessness, kindness and loyalty, and she stood up for what she believed in, despite her status as a second-born. I feel like I could have connected with her more, but I hope to do that in book 2, which I will definitely be reading because I need to know what happens next.

I found the way Bartol wrote familial relationships really chilling. It was brilliant, of course, but I felt so bad for the second-borns who were neglected in favour of their first-born siblings by their parents. There’s just so much hurt and betrayal between families, but I liked how Roselle found her own little family in the other second-borns.

Overall, I really did like this book, disregarding the first few chapters. I give it four out of five stars.


I’d like to thank Amazon Publishing for sending me a copy of Secondborn in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

-Books&Belle xx


26 thoughts on “Book Review – Secondborn by Amy. A Bartol (Spoiler-Free!)

  1. I’ve definitely had that experience of not getting into a book until something happens a little while on! But I would prefer a slow beginning to a slow/disappointing ending, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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