Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 456 pages
Author: Kate Golden
Publisher: The Daisy Press
Release Date: December 15th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Captured by a king of darkness. Forced to find the light within.
Arwen Valondale never expected to be the brave one, offering her life to save her brother’s. Now she’s been taken prisoner by the most dangerous kingdom on the continent, and made to use her rare magical abilities to heal the soldiers of the vicious Onyx King.
Arwen knows better than to face the ancient, wicked woods that surround the castle on her own, which means working with a fellow prisoner might be her only path to freedom. Unfortunately, he’s as infuriating as he is cunning—and seems to take twisted
pleasure in playing on Arwen’s deepest fears.
But here in Onyx Kingdom, trust is a luxury she can’t afford.
To make it out of enemy territory, she’ll have to navigate back-stabbing royals, dark magic, and dangerous beasts. But untold power lies inside Arwen, dormant and waiting for a spark. If she can harness it, she just might be able to escape with her life—and hopefully, her heart.
COLOR ME SURPRISED.
I did not expect to love this the way I did. I put it off for a bit because it seemed too hyped and I wanted to see more reviews. Then on a whim, HERE WE ARE. 4.5 stars of romantasy goodness.
This had a much more true slow burn that worked better for me than a few recent books. I loooove hidden identity plots so dang much. Even when I know it’s coming, still makes my day. And this kept slowly revealing Kane’s history and nature and I loved every second of it. I thought Kane and Arwen had some actual chemistry and I enjoyed the banter between them. I liked seeing them get to know each other and have some soft moments amidst the action.
And plenty of action was had! I loved that it kept a pretty fast pace with enough things going on that I rarely felt a drag. Within that though is my one small complaint. A lack of world building. More of it made sense towards the end, but I have MANY questions about the dynamics of everything.
I think the FMC could use a bit more work, but as far as character arcs go, I am very much on board with the sequence. I am soooo excited to see how book two continues the development of characters and storyline.
It was a good read y’all.
Overall audience notes:
- Fantasy romance
- Language: some strong
- Romance: 1 open; + some innuendo
- Violence: high
- Trigger/Content Warnings: war themes, physical and magical altercations, near death experiences, loss of a mother, weapons violence, kidnapping, attempted sexual assault