Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Annie Sullivan
Release Date: September 10th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.
But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.
YOU’RE GONNA HEAR ME ROAR.
This was a great standalone!
I listened to it on audio and found myself really caught up in the story. It’s not very long yet, gives a good amount of depth for the characters and world-building. I, of course, wish there was more, but liked what I got overall.
Kateri was a strong heroine. I like that she chose her own path and was able to overcome her own prejudices. The romance between Kateri and Cion was my favorite blend of enemies to lovers. And for a standalone, it didn’t feel insta-love at all! There was depth to their conversations and moments and some fun banter as Kateri joined the Desert Boys.
The villains are on the bland, typical side. All got the demise necessary to maintain the plot. The action was engaging at least and I found myself knowing where the story was going, but enjoying the journey I was being taken on.
Overall audience notes:
- Young adult fantasy romance
- Language: very little
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: animal cruelty, death by animal, sandstorms, physical, sword battles, arena battles
- Trigger/Content Warning: description of murder of a loved one and an infant