Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 416 pages
Author: Natalie Mae
Release Date: June 16th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, this enthralling fantasy adventure follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown.
Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s only ever heard about in stories. But as a lowly Whisperer, her power to commune with animals means that her place is serving in the royal stables until the day her magic runs dry.
All that changes when the ailing ruler invokes the Crossing: a death-defying race across the desert, in which the first of his heirs to finish—and take the life of a human sacrifice at the journey’s end—will ascend to the throne and be granted unparalleled abilities.
With all of the kingdom abuzz, Zahru leaps at the chance to change her fate if just for a night by sneaking into the palace for a taste of the revelry. But the minor indiscretion turns into a deadly mistake when she gets caught up in a feud between the heirs and is forced to become the Crossing’s human sacrifice. Zahru is left with only one hope for survival: somehow figuring out how to overcome the most dangerous people in the world.
WOW, HERE FOR THIS.
Don’t sleep on this book guys. I picked it up on a literary whim and it turns out I loved it! It’s a pretty standard YA fantasy, but had that little something else that kept me intrigued and invested.
It was an enthralling adventure. For a mostly traveling book I didn’t feel like it took away from the sibling rivalry saga. There were enough changes in location, action scenes and quiet moments that made the whole journey come alive. I’m curious about the larger expanses of this land, but enjoyed what been initially given.
Okay, the romance. Yes, there is a tiny bit of a love triangle here. I wasn’t too phased by it though because it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen. I liked the lead-ups and steady rising chemistry between them. I found the relationship sweet by the end so I’m satisfied with it. We’ll see if book two ruins this though (why does this keep happening in sequels?!).
The magic system is still a touch undefined, but they’re a lot of cool powers running around. I liked learning more about them and how everyone fit into the nation’s hierarchy. This is something else I hope that gets expounded on in the sequel!
The ending has me gasping for some straws as to what happens next. It’s not a wild cliffhanger, I just definitely didn’t see it all coming. I like what was left open and can easily see another book for this installment (rather than thinking it should just stay as one).
Overall audience notes:
- Young adult fantasy
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses / make-outs
- Violence: murder, poison, physical, animal attacks, magic, swords/knives/arrows; not overly gory