A River of Royal Blood Review

A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood, #1)

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GoodReads:

Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of marrow and blood–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.

When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.

A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity.

My Review

I loved the start of this, and so it was a pretty good idea that unless things went pretty south that this was going to be a really great read for me.

There are so many magical beings and different aspects of world building that I was pretty much having the time of my life.

All the elements were terrific and I also just loved Joy’s writing style, it was fantastic and so vibrant.

Sister rivalry doesn’t get used enough or if it does it tends to be romance centered and so this, to do with power and becoming queen? It was amazing and perfection. *Chef’s kiss*

There were family secrets, the bond again of father and daughter and grief, not to mention the strain of Eva’s relationship with her mother.

While I loved Eva I also enjoyed the full cast of characters and I definitely was a Baccha fan, Baccha for the win! I also could have done with more Falun but I’ll just try and be patient and hope for more of Falun in book two!

Plot and pacing were well done, and I really could hardly put the book down once things started to heat up and there was no chance of putting it down, ESPECIALLY WITH THAT REVEAL WHICH I WON’T SAY TO AVOID SPOILERS.

There’s so much more to be revealed and yet this was a really full and fleshed out journey with Eva finding out so much about herself, her past, and her own desires for the future.

Eva really finds herself in so many ways, growing into herself. She loves her sister, but, loving her sister is a dangerous thing. It was so heartbreaking to get flashes of memory only for them and you to know that they would have to fight until only one survived.

That aspect of how the rivalry came about and the lore and history behind it was just such a delight to read and though. I hated how Eva’s mother treated her, she made for an excellent focal point for my dislike lol. I also really enjoyed learning about Raina and thought she was fascinating if not a pain in the butt for Eva lol.

The romance was such a plus for me, I think YA is softening me up because I used to hate romance so much but it’s pretty enjoyable in the books I’ve read lately and this one is no exception. I liked the connection between Eva and the khimaer Prince and I enjoyed watching their bond grow.

Family secrets, powerful women, dangerous politics, magic, fighting destiny…what more could I want in a fantasy?

5/5 Cups of coffee from me and I cannot wait for book 2, A Queen of Gilded Horns, out March 2021! I wish this was a longer review but this is what happens when you wait months to write a review. It’s amazing, go forth and read it if you like!

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