“In a world of magic, nothing is impossible.”
Rating: 3/5 stars
Thank you Blackstone Publishing for sending me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!
IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.
Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes.
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm.
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.
Not one has ever returned.
When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.
To kill it.
But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.
That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.
Initially, I was intrigued by this book because of the gorgeous cover but then I read the synopsis and was totally in! A princess fighting tooth and nail for her life and kingdom, a gang who doesn’t get along but have one common goal, demons, gods, elemental magic, and queer rep that will tug on your heart? Basically, all the elements that I love in a fantasy novel. Also, a fun little fact about this book is that Coco Ma wrote it when she was fifteen years old. Yes, you read that right, ONE-FIVE. If that’s not majorly impressive I really don’t know what is.
The strongest aspect of this story is the cast. Even though initially they are not the most functional together they manage to all get their shit together when it comes to trying to slay a demon wreaking havoc on nearby towns. Here’s the rundown of the characters you’ll grow to love with this one:
➸Asterin, the princess who will do whatever it takes to keep her kingdom safe. However, the tables begin to turn when she finds out that someone is trying to have her assassinated and now Asterin is not only fighting for her kingdom, but her life as well.
➸Eadric, the captain of the guard who is basically just trying to keep everyone alive at this point and is stressed AF about it.
➸Rose and Quinlan, the cousin duo of my dreams, come to assist Asterin on her quest to slay the demon but of course have some major secrets of their own…and maybe one of them has a crush on Asterin.
➸Luna, the princess’ loyal friend longs for magic of her own and will do whatever she can do help Asterin slay the demon even though she’s only human…or is she?
➸Orion, another badass loyal friend of the princess who has a crush on Harry, my favorite character. I won’t say much about Harry because spoilers are no fun but I love him a lot.
So, I mean how could you not love this dysfunctional gang of demon slayers?
“Stop acting like your lives are worth less than mine!” Asterin exploded. “You are my friends! Friends always protect one another.”
Now, on to why I gave this three stars. My biggest issue with this was the plot twists. There were so many twists in this book that it almost seemed like the author had too many ideas and didn’t know which direction she wanted to book to go in. It was literally one twist after another after another after another. Just when you thought the story was going one way, it went in the total opposite direction. Y’all know I am a fan of epic plot twists, I mean, who isn’t? But this was overkill at times. I also felt like the characters all went from disliking each other to BFF’s the next day. Since there is going to be another book I would have liked to see their relationships develop a little slower.
All in all, I can’t lie and say I won’t be picking up the next book because I am totally diving back into the Asterin’s world when book two comes out. Even though the plot twists were a little unbearable at times I was completely invested in this from start to finish because of the characters and now I can’t wait to see where the story will take them in the next book!