Genre: Adult, Fantasy
A wonderful adult fantasy book that I strongly recommend anyone who wants to get their fantasy genre fix in without committing to a long series.
The book contains an engaging, easy to follow plot with well written (and diverse!) characters that I quickly found myself invested in the world.
The only warning I would give is that it does contain dark gritty elements so if you want a more lighthearted fun, I would definitely skip this.
Please note in an exchange for an honest review, I received an advance reader copy (ARC) from NetGalley.
I wanted to read a fantasy book that was contained and that wasn't a young adult novel. The cover of this book was so pretty and the description of the book sounded interesting so I requested to review. Thankfully, the publisher approved my request and I'm glad they did since I found myself unable to put the book down!
What I Loved
- The cover is really beautiful and it is what caught my interest in this book.
- Bedford juggles three different point of views very well throughout the book. In this book, I could honestly block out the names and still identify whose perspective I am in. Not once did I feel that the voice of the characters sounded the same.
- The story was just interesting! Seeing how the king's death rippled throughout the world was really cool.
- World building. The magic, political effects of an assassinated king, culture of the different countries, and living conditions of the citizens was very interesting.
- Very diverse cast of characters!
What I Disliked
- I thought the villain of the story was pretty obvious. From the very get go, I guessed the villain of the story. He also seemed a bit cartoony/one-dimensional.
- The fight with the big bad evil guy did feel a bit rush/anti climatic for me. I did not totally hate it since it still made sense to me, in universe.
Give this a read! If you are already into the fantasy genre and want to dip your toes into an adult fantasy book for the first time, then I would pick this up. The political aspects of this book wasn't confusing nor did it seem to drag on and the story was interesting. What's great is that the book is self-contained (no sequels or prequels) so if you're like me and don't want to commit to a new series now, this definitely will fill this epic fantasy craving without the commitment!
The only warning I can give is that there are some dark/adult elements, specifically rape and abuse. If you feel uncomfortable reading things like that, then I would pass on this.
Warning! Spoilers ahead!
A quick little section:
My Favorite Character(s): I actually liked all three characters whose perspectives we follow but if I had to pick one, it would be Lind. Lind's tragic story just hit me so much that all I wanted to do was hug the poor dude. Non main character wise, it would be Dhanay. I loved her so much and did tear up when she passed away.
- Dhanay's death absolutely tore me. The image of Valdas lying down next to her as she took her last breath made me cry.
- Lind telling himself that he is in control/has the power. Such a powerful/moving moment when he determined he would be helping the Queen and her baby.
- Maybe I missed it but that guard that told Lind he saved his life twice, I really wanted to hear that story. I was crossing my fingers to make sure that man lived.
- Anelia is a wonderful character and I'm glad her and Valdas ended up together. From the first chapter it was obvious how much they cared for each other!
- I really love the relationship between Mirza and Valdas. Even though they had sex, Mirza was never jealous of Valdas sleeping with other women or showing interest in other woman after their relationship. She wanted what was best for him and vice versa and are just wonderful friends.
- King Konstantyn sounded like such a perfect king. We need more of him in this world.