But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.
But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.
When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?
The beginning of this book was absolutely phenomenal, Brown’s writing is just this style that can be labeled as the calligraphy of styles, it’s gorgeous and fluid and connecting.
There is not one part of this book that does not fit, not one thing I questioned.
There’s this lore and history behind the world that I just wanted to dive into, and though I took my time with it, it wasn’t because this book was a slow read. In fact, it was the opposite, it was because this book was just that freakin’ good that I didn’t want it to end.
The competition was definitely intense and in fact Brown succeeded in drawing out the tension expertly for the whole novel. And of course also expertly set up us all anxiously awaiting book two.
But seriously. That competition though.
Also, THOSE REVEALS. WHAT REVEALS. SUCH FEELS.
The world is not always as black and white, and of course, books are always so much better when they’re believable and that grey area of morality is a strong draw for me.
The world-building and magic were A+++ for me and they are usually the most important elements for me. But. That doesn’t mean I didn’t absolutely love the differences and variety in the characters. Malik especially, I mean, yes Karina is brilliant as well but I think Malik really stood out. [Again, both superbly written] I also couldn’t help but adore Tunde….
You know what you did, Author.
Anyway, this ended the way most of my favorite books do, with heartache, emotional torture, and a book hangover.
This book lived up to all the hype my friends put up to it, and that’s always such a satisfying and great feeling as a reader. 5/5 cups of hot chocolate for me and it’s a 2020 fave release of mine as well as on my general favorites shelf now on GoodReads.
Did you read this? What’d you think?