“We all have darkness inside us, Rielle. That is what it means to be human.”
Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an early copy of this!
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
Plain and simple, I loved this. The premise of this book was so incredibly intriguing to me that even if I had not received a copy of this book I would be racing to the bookstore on release day to get my hands on it. Two Queens that are separated by a thousand years but somehow their lives are intertwined to determine the fate of the world? YES PLEASE.
*PSA: There are super, super minor spoilers in here that do not really affect the way you will read this story but just a little heads up!
The prologue of this story is absolutely WILD. I was legitimately sucked in from the very first page, which is so rare for me. It’s a heart pounding birth scene followed by an escape scene. You’ll meet the first queen, Rielle, and the boy who must help the queen’s daughter escape, Simon. And while a whole other slew of names are being thrown around and you have no freaking clue who anyone is, you’ll find yourself flying through the pages to figure out what is actually going on.
But it does get a little confusing…
The actual first chapter of the story takes place before the prologue, in fact ALL of Rielle’s story takes place before the prologue. Basically the prologue is kind of like Rielle’s end game, and the story then reverses and takes you on the journey of what exactly happened to Queen Rielle and the seven trials she endured. I genuinely liked Rielle, I loved reading about the trials that she went through, her “forbidden romance”, and the angel/villian who was mind speaking to her. Plus Corien, the angel/villian, was so well written that I was dying for Rielle’s chapters just to get some more Corien action.
And I totally loved that the angels are the bad guys in this one, because like, when are they ever?
Skipping ahead to the next chapter, you’ll meet Eliana, the Dread of Orline, which basically just means she’s an assassin for the Empire and the best of the best (even though it seems just about everyone she fought was much better than her?) Whatevs, you catch my drift. Anyway, Eliana’s story takes place 1000 years after Rielle’s, where Eliana suddenly finds herself thrown into a mission with rebels, the very people she murders for a living, in a desperate attempt to save her mother after she goes missing. She meets a boy, Simon (ahem, ahem), from the Red Crown rebel group who tells Elianna he will help her find her mother as long as she helps him first. And so begins their little tango of deceit, lies, and withheld truths to one another.
I really enjoyed that each chapter bounced back and forth between Eliana and Rielle, it made reading the story so much more intriguing and left me dying for “just one more chapter” every time I was able to sit down and read this. So if you can, read this when you have plenty of time and minimal distractions, you can thank me later 😉
Now I promise I will not give away any major spoilers, but I did deduct a half star because the “big” plot twists are honestly kind of obvious from the prologue. There will be plot twists you didn’t see coming though! The other half star I deducted was due to how confusing this story actually becomes about 60% in. There are SO MANY unanswered questions upon finishing this, and so many “wait what the heck just happened” moments. I understand that there are two more books but to read 500+ pages and not even know why angels/humans are at war with one another was a little disheartening. A GIRL NEEDS TO KNOW! Also, while technically we know Rielle’s ultimate ending from the prologue, we never get there. And I have a feeling we were not even close to getting there. Which is why y’all better believe I will be first in line for book two! But still, it was kind of a bummer.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this one to any high fantasy lovers. If you like ToG, you will probably love this one. If you like well written villains, don’t skip this one. If you like betrayals, forbidden romances, magic, badass females, action-packed pages, then mark your calendars because this bad boy hits the shelves this Tuesday!
Until next time!