In her most ambitious move yet, she’s about to marry Alessandro Morandi, her childhood best friend and the heir to the wealthiest house in Occhia. Emanuela doesn’t care that she and her groom are both gay, because she doesn’t want a love match. She wants power, and through Ale, she’ll have it all.
But Emanuela has a secret that could shatter her plans. In her city of Occhia, the only source of water is the watercrea, a mysterious being who uses magic to make water from blood. When their first bruise-like omen appears on their skin, all Occhians must surrender themselves to the watercrea to be drained of life. Everyone throughout history has obeyed this law for the greater good. Everyone except Emanuela. She’s kept the tiny omen on her hip out of sight for years.
When the watercrea exposes Emanuela during her wedding ceremony and takes her to be sacrificed, Emanuela fights back…and kills her. Before everyone in Occhia dies of thirst, Emanuela and Ale must travel through the mysterious, blood-red veil that surrounds their city to uncover the source of the watercrea’s power and save their people—no matter what it takes.
You know that thing where everyone’s like ‘I can’t wait for there to be a book where we watch someone think they’re a hero when they’re actually becoming a villain’? That’s this book pretty much.
I really liked that. Holy cow do I despise Emanuela yet I can see where she’s coming from with her actions. She’s trying to do things to help, but, only if they also help her. Doing all of these things for better or worse must be done her way and has no care for who gets in her way.
At least, that’s how she is 99% of the time, she does have a weak spot though! Her best friend and husband to be, Ale. Emanuela clearly cares for him from her point of view but her actions don’t match that sentiment.
Emanuela thinks her problem is she’s too ambitious. Instead it’s really more that she’s an utter butthead with that ambition. Finally though fate catches up with her and when that happens our MC doesn’t take it with grace, she kills it. I won’t lie, I can see me not being too happy to die for people to get water, why is that the way to get water? Why has no one else gotten angry? I’m with Emanuela for this one part lol.
Now that she’s left the town without a way of getting water, the people are understandably angry. Ale is left to help her pick up the mess and in their flight from the angry mob, they somehow have stumbled across some earth-shattering news.
I loved that Emanuela doesn’t take everything at face value, that she digs down until she either can twist something to how she wants it or digs up the uglier truth of it.
It was a good story and a creative way to tell it. I could not get over Emanuela’s treatment of Ale though or even others such as her nurse.
Ale is gay, in love with one of the boys from their town and the love that he and Emanuela share a very close bond, a love of friendship that can be really sweet when Emanuela isn’t being rude lol. Emanuela herself is more focused on goals but she does find herself ogling her newest enemy, a beautiful girl who is just as ambitious as Emanuela and I’m all here for that to develop in book 2.
Pacing was fantastic, always on the go and just a whirlwind of crazy. The writing style is engaging enough that no matter how much I despised what Emanueal did, I was still wanting to push through and know more.
The story was almost done too well to make you hate her and I could find no sympathy for her, but I was there for Ale and I was happy with how he dealt with her at the end. I look forward to seeing how this goes in the second book.
In the end my biggest complaints were for two things. One, Emanuela was too easy to hate, I actually just wanted to scream at times she was just so hard to feel even a twinge of sympathy for at the end and that can make it a harder read. Two, the detail with the gore. This book was fine until it suddenly wasn’t for me as far as gore goes. (It’s one of the reasons that Game of Thrones is such a pain in my damn side and I always rate it down, that, and let’s face it the books go downhill after book 2) Anyway! When a particular scene occurs near the end I honestly thought I was going to hurl my cookies. So, that was an unpleasant surprise.
3.5/5 Cups of coffee from me, can’t wait to read how Emanuela gets out of her latest fix and I really just want more Ale in my life.