Disclaimer: I received this book for free from TheNovl and Little, Brown Books. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, death, cutting, suicide, mature scenes)
Synopsis: Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.
The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.
Or rather, three unexpected options.
Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she’s already gone.
Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.
Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady’s maid and scheming her way out of the servants’ chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she’s done.
When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny… to rule.
Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut.
This was one of my hotly anticipated reads of this year and so when TheNovl sent out emails about it I squealed. At work. It was hard to explain to my coworkers. And then when I got it in the mail I cried. Literally. And then I worried that I would hate this book. On the surface it almost seems like a Three Dark Crowns esque book, but inside it’s totally different and amazing and AjsLKJ:DLjaldufr;alsdjflasjdroasuer;ojasdhnfsdjflkjsadlfanlsdfnasjl!!!!!! I am so in love with this book. Like seriously. LOVE! The characters are so amazingly complex and well developed. One of the girls is a lesbian and there’s a F/F relationship, which is something I don’t normally see in YA fantasy. The book is also incredible in that all of the main players, even the villains, are female and the love interests hardly help them out. This plot development is also awesome and the pacing is well done. The writing is fantastic. I can just rave about this book all day long.
The only issue I have with this book was that we ended on a cliffhanger and I NEED THE NEXT ONE NOW! I also want to slightly criticize the book on using cutting as a power, which can potentially give the wrong idea to some people. I don’t think it’s on the same level as the controversy around Carve the Mark, but it’s slightly worrying that someone could get the wrong idea.
Verdict: An all female trio that is truly feminist goals.