Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 480 pages
Author: Roseanne A. Brown
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 2nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.
For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. 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?
MANY GOOD THINGS.
Grateful my library picked this one up, and that I happened to see it because I loved this! Definitely a great first book for a YA fantasy series. Definitely here for the sequel.
ASOWAR covered so many important topics. Police brutality, supremacy, slavery, corruption, and more. I love that no matter the genre, important and relevant topics can be addressed. This never took me out of the book but further brought to light topics I am continually learning about.
I liked this world-building and magic system. With a mix of some general YA tropes were many new things that made ASOWAR feel new. These main characters, Karina and Malik had flaws, and yet, I could clearly see the growth from them by the end of the book. I LOVE THAT. I love characters that feel real, experience a range of emotions, make mistakes, and strive to pick the best choice in a world where few of those are available.
The twists and turns occasionally took me by surprise, and even the ones that didn’t, were still interesting and progressed the story effectively. I loved the premise of this massive festival filled with all of these magical beings.
This was a great cast, a beautiful world, wonderful and engaging writing. I had a blast with this one and look forward to seeing how this story continues. I’d love to see more development of the romance, and further explore all of the world!
Overall audience notes:
- Young adult fantasy
- Language: very little
- Romance: kisses, closed door scene (with no lead-up detail)
- Violence: bloody/gory; physical, murder, assassination, magical, kidnapping
- Trigger warnings: mild self-harm ideation, anxiety and panic attacks, loss of loved ones, animal death