My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Short Summary via Goodreads:
Serena Smith is unusual. Growing up as an outcast in her backwoods village, her life is grim and hard and lonely. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, she is given a magical heirloom and suffers a heartbreaking loss. Still reeling, she is forced into exile, snatched by slavers and condemned to a lifetime in chains.
Dragged to Aldar, a fae kingdom ruled by a tyrant witch, Serena soon discovers the embers of forbidden love and meets fellow exiles, each with their own secrets. As the lives of warriors, rebels, and witches clash, they discover a shared destiny. For only together, and with Serena’s newfound gifts, can she and her companions escape a cruel master and survive a realm of monsters and spies while building the flames of a revolution.
My Review: Fantastic Fae Fantasy! I was pleasantly surprised at the turn this story took. I read the first two chapters when I was asked to beta read, so I knew I’d be hooked when I picked up the published copy. But, I had no idea what kind of action-packed adventure I was getting myself into. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, they did. When I thought the characters would get a break, the stakes rose, keeping me enthralled.
S.B. Nova did a brilliant job of weaving in characters, twists, and detailed backstory without overwhelming me or dragging the pace. Each character (and there are a lot) is unique with their own voice and motives, adding to the overall tension and conflict.
I love Frazer most–a brooding, darker Fae you don’t anticipate to take on such a huge role in Serena’s life. Their vulnerability as individuals is intensified by their friendship and their characters strengthened by it. This is so well done! I was taken completely off guard by the uniqueness of their relationship.
There are a few instances I thought I might be able to predict, but a kink in the characters’ plans or their reactions threw me off every time. I do think I know what will happen with Serena’s love interest issue, though. However, I’m glad the book ended the way it did, and that the issues of romance are stalled in more ways than one.
I’m anxious to continue this story, and will have a book hangover for a while!