Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 634 pages
Author: K.A. Tucker
Release Date: May 25th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Gifted thief Romeria has flourished from her days as a street kid pilfering wallets to survive. Now she thrives, stealing jewels from the rich under the involuntary employ of New York City’s most notorious crime boss. But when an enigmatic woman secures her services at swordpoint, Romeria is plunged into a startling realm of opposing thrones, warring elven, and elemental magic she cannot begin to fathom.
Her quest is straightforward: Steal a stone from Islor’s sacred garden without anyone discovering her true identity, which would earn her certain death. But the identity she has inexplicably assumed is that of the captured Ybarisan princess—an enemy to Islor after she poisoned their beloved king and queen on the day she was to marry the prince.
Her betrothed, the newly crowned King Zander, detests her with every grain of his handsome being. Fortunately for Romeria, she is more valuable to him alive than dead. Zander gives her a choice: life in a cell, or an acquittal of all charges in exchange for her help in exposing the growing plot against him.
Romeria sees no other option and embraces the tricky role of smitten queen-to-be until she can escape, a ruse that brings her far closer to the king than she anticipated and threatens more than her safety. As she digs deeper into this sacred garden and the ancient feud between Ybaris and Islor, she discovers monstrous truths that could spell ruin for all.
She would know the world of vengeful gods and monsters, and the lengths one would go for love. And nothing would ever be the same for her again.
TOOK AN UNEXPECTED TWIST.
Was it a good twist?
Not from my perspective.
Sooooooo I’m feeling a bit disappointed over this. I was SO EXCITED for this fantasy by one of my favorite authors, and maybe I hyped it too much? Maybe this fantasy just didn’t click? Maybe some combination of a handful of things.
I liked the romance between Romy and Zander. It’s a slowwww burn, but works so well here. I thought the chemistry was there (would have loved even more) and the banter was great too. I look forward to more of them based on how this ended so I’m definitely looking towards the sequel for a lift.
What fell really flat was the world-building and the magic system. Romy spent most of the time in the dark, so I spent even more time in the dark. I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. I could form a list for you, but it would probably spoil most of the story, ha. There’s some info dumping pages where I kind of caught up on what was happening, but frankly, I have no idea what’s going on. The whole quest to get the stone wasn’t even the plot of this book. Many mixed messages.
Speaking of mixed message, I’m still upset over the twist. It felt like it only added to the confusion. Why was it added? Why do they need to be that way? And once again, many more questions.
Even though the story wasn’t the necessarily like the summary led me to believe, I did like most of it. It was entertaining most of the time and I’m still curious enough to see what’s next.
Overall audience notes:
- Fantasy romance
- Language: some
- Romance: kisses to open door scenes
- Violence: sword battles, physical altercations, poison
- Trigger/Content Warnings: slavery