Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire | Pages: 512
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
The publisher kindly sent me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.
A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.
As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.
This book was really great! The world, the characters, the storyline. They all equal up to an enchanting fantasy that leaves you with lots of questions, and ultimately wanting more!
With this book, you were immediately drawn into the story. Legrand didn’t waste a minute, and quickly gripped me and pulled me into this deep and interesting world. And, by clever writing, she began the story with the end of Rielle’s story. At first, I didn’t know if I truly liked starting with the end. However, it gripped me. And it had me turning those pages so quickly, I just couldn’t get enough!
We get two main characters in this story and thus, two main perspectives. First, is Rielle. She must endure seven difficult trials to prove to those around her that she is the Sun Queen. These trials were super interesting and almost gave me Hunger Games vibes. With Rielle’s story, I sometimes found that reading about the trials felt drawn on. I wanted to understand more about the magical / elemental side of the trials so that I could understand the events of the trial. Instead, I got a lot of the event versus the reasoning or importance behind it.
Second, we have Eliana. Her story is told 1000 years after Rielle’s. Although I loved both characters, I found myself mostly drawn to Eliana’s story and I couldn’t wait until I got more. She’s this strong bounty hunter that is fiercely loyal and yet also selfish. It was a conflicting personality but yet it was something that drew me in right from the beginning. I was constantly curious about her story as it was often moving around, which I loved!
The thing I liked most about this book was the pacing of how both stories were told. Specifically, every odd chapter was about Rielle, and every even chapter was about Eliana. I think this allowed for a great pace for each story and always left me wanting more. This book also has such strong female power and I love it! I love that we get to see two strong female characters that are unique. It is so incredibly important to have these types of main characters and I loved how different they were from each other, yet both empowering in their own way.
The world building in this novel is impeccable. Legrand is clearly a strong writer who is super descriptive in everything that she writes. As a reader, I often felt transported into these two worlds – like I was a spectator at the trials and I was running alongside bounty hunter Eliana. It has left me with questions that I can’t wait to be answered in the next two books!
My only qualm about this book is the fact that sometimes I did find I was a bit confused. It was almost like too much detail was thrown at me in some instances and then I found I had to re-read certain parts to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. But while this did happen, it didn’t happen all that often. Moreover, these moments often left me with SO many unanswered questions. I love having questions in series, it makes you want more (see above – I can’t wait for answers to be answered in the next books!). But sometimes there can be instances where there are just waaaaay too many questions. That said, I think these are things that could be cleared up if/when I re-read the book closer to the release of the sequel.
Overall, I highly recommend this book! I think it is one of the best YA fantasy releases of 2018. Filled with suspense, thrilling moments, magic and wonderful characters. If you’re a fan of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and the Hunger Games, I feel like this book will give similar vibes while also making it all its own story.
About the Author:
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. A native Texan, she is now a writer and librarian living in central New Jersey.
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