Prepare yourself for a little bad-mouthy, snarky review. Not all bad, but…hey. This book deserved it. Haha.
Genre: YA Fantasty
This is a story told between two different girl’s (women’s?) perspectives. First, we have Rielle, who has more powers than anyone else of her time that center around all the elements. She has spent her life hiding her talents out of fear, but after they are unwillingly shown to those around her, she is put to the test to see if she is one of the prophesized queens. Second, we have Eliana, who is living a thousand years later where magic and powers no longer exist, yet she finds her body magically heals itself after any injury. She spends her life as a bounty hunter for the Empire and it allows her to take care of her brother and mother – who suddenly goes vanishing a long with hundreds of other women. Is Rielle one of the prophesized queens; the Queen of Light or the Queen of Blood? Where is Eliana’s mother and the many missing girls? Will she be able to use her skills to protect her?
As always, honesty is key. I struggled the first part of this book. To the point that I was forcing myself to read one chapter a day because I found I didn’t like either Rielle or Eliana at the beginning. I didn’t understand where the story was going, I didn’t understand why both were important to their own stories let alone to each other’s stories. Lastly, I didn’t like how selfish they both were. The beginning of their stories is a very slow build – I would say it was mostly around character build (which is probably why I struggled so bad). The people in both of their lives are initially dull, flat, and serve little purpose to the girls’ lives.
FINALLY, half way through this book I started actually giving a damn about these two characters and where their lives were suddenly heading. Eliana, in one swift move, is forced between the Empire and her enemies and ends up taking the journey of a lifetime (not in a necessarily all-inclusive resort type of way, that’s for sure). She drags along her brother in search of their mother. A lot of truths come out, a lot of thing are learned about Eliana and those around her. I enjoyed her story in the second half a little more than Rielle’s.
Rielle, on the other hand, is faced into these sort of extreme obstacle courses that everyone comes to see – mostly to see if she will die in the process of trying to get out of each of them. However, her secret is one that resides inside her head and it opens up a CAN. OF. WORMS., folks. That girl is T.R.O.U.B.L.E. I didn’t like her relationship to some of the other characters including the love interest which felt so…uncomfortably rushed at points. But, here we are.
Lastly, let’s briefly discuss that ending. Because. OK, ma’ams and sirs. Mostly I’m referring to the graphic and disturbing pieces around Eliana’s journey. Let’s just say “zombie” is a good reference for how it came across to me. I don’t like zombies. Creeped me out, but in a good way I think?
Overall, if you’re looking for a slow character build that leads to a very strange cliff-ending storyline, this is a great book to pick up. I did get an e-arc of Kingsbane but I wasn’t ready to start it until I could summarize my thoughts on this book, first. Just in the off chance I got things mixed up between the two!