Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 496 pages
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Release Date: September 14th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
A fantasy series about a kingdom divided by corruption, the prince desperately holding it together, and the girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.
The kingdom of Kandala is on the brink of disaster. Rifts between sectors have only worsened since a sickness began ravaging the land, and within the Royal Palace, the king holds a tenuous peace with a ruthless hand.
King Harristan was thrust into power after his parents’ shocking assassination, leaving the younger Prince Corrick to take on the brutal role of the King’s Justice. The brothers have learned to react mercilessly to any sign of rebellion–it’s the only way to maintain order when the sickness can strike anywhere, and the only known cure, an elixir made from delicate Moonflower petals, is severely limited.
Out in the Wilds, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade is tired of seeing her neighbors die, their suffering ignored by the unyielding royals. Every night, she and her best friend Wes risk their lives to steal Moonflower petals and distribute the elixir to those who need it most–but it’s still not enough.
As rumors spread that the cure no longer works and sparks of rebellion begin to flare, a particularly cruel act from the King’s Justice makes Tessa desperate enough to try the impossible: sneaking into the palace. But what she finds upon her arrival makes her wonder if it’s even possible to fix Kandala without destroying it first.
Y’ALL, I LIKED THIS ONE.
I feel it should be said first, I didn’t finish this author’s previous series (A Curse So Dark and Lonely). After book two, I shrugged my shoulders and didn’t want to read the last one and I left it at that.
THEN. Many of my bookstagram friends raved about this book. RAVED. So I found myself downloading my library’s copy and here we are. I am much more thoroughly invested in this initial read and wow I can’t wait for more!!
What helped sell me on this was the romance. It moved beautifully. I loved the connection Tessa had with him and how things were unraveled and explained. The conflict worked itself out just the way it should and I want mooooore of them desperately.
A lot of this is predictable, but the plot is solid enough to still feel like it’s giving me new things to love. I liked the set-up for the next book and that this didn’t end on some massive cliffhanger. This is a fantasy I found myself not wanting to put down. One of those, shirk your duties, reads and I’m so glad it turned out that way. Can’t wait for more.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Fantasy Romance
- Language: very little
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: battles, physical altercations, weaponry
- Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of parents (and other loved ones), executions, rape and sexual assault discussed, epidemic, torture