This hit my most anticipated 2020 list as soon as I found it was about a spy master who falls in love with her queen…and a queen who falls in love with her spy. I knew this could turn into one of my favorite reads of the year….and it could be a new top favorite.
If I am being honest I was not expecting my reaction to this book…It was everything I was hoping for and a lot more. I found myself forcing myself having to put it down just to sleep, but still waking up early to go back to reading. Mumbling “one more chapter” constantly until 3am hasn’t happened to me in a long time. Everything about this book was absolutely amazing to me. It hit all the marks.
Well, why was I so enthralled with this monster of a book? Believe it or not, it was the politics. Politics played a huge part of this book. We find ourselves in the shoes of a newly crowned queen in charge of a failing kingdom on the brink of bankruptcy. Lia is smart and cunning, and she knows there are enemies all around her who want nothing more than for her to make one more mistake so they can run her away from the throne. Her predecessor left her a kingdom filled with two types of enemies: spoiled rich people who expect for nothing to change, and those who have suffered from the last kings’ greed and inaptitude to run a kingdom. None of them seem to realize that the kingdom has no money and it’s up to the Lia, and her newly charged master spy Xania, to figure out how bring the kingdom from going under for good.
I don’t mess with politics in my life but I absolutely love political fantasy. I love learning a new political system – how different it can be from other books, and how they all have their own faults, just like most countries do. I crave for it even, especially when I’m reading fantasy series where the main character is a queen.
While the world building is amazing and filled with beauty, what I think truly brings it together is the string of characters we get to meet. Our two MC’s, Lia and Xania, were amazing – their chemistry was off the charts and the yearning they feel….truly on point. Sappho would be envious of their love for each other. They have people who love them, strong family bonds, and friends who would do anything for them.
I have a feeling this book is going to be everywhere when it comes out. If you’re a fan of The Priory of the Orange Tree you’ll definitely want to pick this one up. If I could say one bad thing about this book….well, I wish it was 100 pages more. The ending was a little rushed, I wanted to know more. So I’m truly hoping the author will make more books in this universe.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy.
Overall rating: 5/5
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Political fantasy
Rep: f/f romance, lesbian MCs, demi MC,
Release date: April 23, 2020 (US physical copies will be released in July).
‘She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’
When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.
Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?
In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …