**Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
Author Kelly Coon
Description from Amazon
In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.
When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.
But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.
Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.
Please see my hype post for my full initial thoughts, but I was very excited to be chosen on NetGalley for this book. The setting sounded different than anything else I was currently reading and I was immeidately captivated by the idea of the sacred maidens chosen to accompany their ruler into death.
Iltani – I want more of Iltani’s sass in the next book. As Kammani’s best friend, she is the perfect minor character. She know’s she’s “too much” but yet she does what she wants anyway. I loved her dialogue and her rationale for her actions. I would read a standalone story about Iltani any day.
Also previously covered in my hype post, I think this cover is eerie and interesting. I can confirm that after reading this book, the cover makes complete sense to me now. Before I had read the book, I liked it, but now, I love it.
I’m very curious about reading the second book in this series. Since this one won’t hit shelves until October 2019, I think I’ll have to wait for a while. However, this series has my attention and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
The romance – I thought it was lacking. I could easily see Dagan and Kammani together but I can also see Nasu with Kammani. It was kind of a love triangle but not really. I’m not sure how to describe it. Overall, it was just lacking in the romance department and I would have liked to see more.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought the concepts were different from anything else I had read. Negative points for the underdeveloped romance but in general, quite a good read. I will definitely read the next book in this series.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – both of these stories are that of older sisters protecting their younger sisters from something their societies deem to be a great honor.
- Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – I think the characters of Nin Awria and Yan Hesina in both of these stories are very similar. Although Descendant of the Crane is centered around Hesina’s father’s murder (and Nin Awria’s father is still alive, but dying), I think there are strong parallels in the way the stories develop.
- Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne – this is another story of a healer who values her life less than those she heals. There are definite parallels between Zivah and Kammani as well as Dineas and Nasu.