**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**
Author KayLynn Flanders
Description from Amazon
The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.
As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.
Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.
Release Date July 21, 2020
I was excited to be approved for this book in NetGalley. I loved viking-inspired stories and had heard really good things from my friends on bookstagram.
Some Things I Liked
- Viking inspiration. I really loved the world KayLynn Flanders created and I loved the inspiration. I thought the cultures were unique and interesting and I want to know more.
- Side characters. I also enjoyed the side characters. I think they have a lot of sequel / spin-off potential. I hope to see a lot more of Enzo’s sisters and grandmother in the next book(s).
Some Things I Wasn’t Crazy About
- Slow build. I started this book in March and finished in May. I just couldn’t get into this book and it really didn’t pick up until around 55% of the book. I wish the story had hooked me more.
- The romance. I felt like it lacked depth. It was kind of insta-love but not really since the main characters were hardly around each other but then they “realized” they were in love near the end. I just didn’t buy it.
- The names of the villains. I thought they lacked originality. Greymere, the Grey Mage? I would have preferred one or the other, using both name and title felt redundant.
I would definitely continue with this series. As mentioned above, the story was slow to start but did ramp up toward the end. I would like to see how this plays out.
I liked this book. I didn’t love it but I think it has good bones. I can see myself revising this rating depending on how the rest of the series continues. Right now, I’m struggling to see the whole vision but, I do see potential.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Winter by Winter by Jordan Stratford – if you liked the viking themes in this book and the idea of a strong female lead, try this new series.
- Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young – again, if you liked the viking vibes, a pinch of magic, and the politics of warring nations, try this book by Adrienne Young.
- The Star Touched Queen by Roshni Choshki – if you enjoyed the arranged marriage aspect as well as the warring nations, definitely check out this series.