Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.
When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.
A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.
As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5/5)
This review and Author Interview can also be found on The Nerd Daily.
Although I’m torn on whether to bring it down to 4 since I do usually scale up BUT I might change my mind on this one if I reread it since I was sick and drowsy af half the time reading this book and lately I’ve seriously not been in the fantasy mood so I’m being generous.
Review time, Let’s go!
I hate to say this but I didn’t really love either of the main protagonists. I definitely liked Eliana more than Rielle and I did like seeing how similar they were a little bit but they both annoyed at times.
Rielle’s character was just idk…meh…I couldn’t connect with her. From what I read, it was a lot of “I’m a strong person, I can do this!” epiphanies- AFTER someone tells me I can do it when I’ve suddenly decided I need to cower in fear cause gosh darn this is SO scary. Not to mention that she has random mood changes from being very cocky to being very naive then to just wanting to jump Audric’s bones at any time of the day. Calm down. idk guys…just wasn’t a fan of Rielle.
Eliana was cooler, she reminded me a little of Celaena without the Sam grudge, but she also pulled so many Feyre moves from ACOTAR, like girl STAY PUT. STOP DOING SHIT PEOPLE TELL YOU NOT TO DO, LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE AND STOP BEING STUPID.
The real MVP is Simon. Simon was my fav from the start and I think his character has so much to bring in the future books, his whole personality and character development would be so so interesting to read since they change so much in between Rielle’s world and Eliana’s. I want to know how he became who he is and everything he’s done since and he’s just my fav.
I also really liked Ludivine, she was such a chill character. I’m happy that LeGrand took a mighty step back from the old trope I haaaate – the love triangle – I hate triangles, I’d rather a pentagon.
Unfortunately, some of the things that let me down character wise were the character developments. A lot of the relationships felt disjointed, for example, I never stopped being suspicious and hating on Navi and I just don’t understand how the main character’s perception and their relationship built so quickly. Same with Corien and Rielle, like…what? Can you not think logically about this person and even think about what he might be for a second??
Since I was pretty sick and dying, and super drowsy, I also got confused a lot xD, many times I got mixed up and thought Eliana’s knives were people. I like the concepts that she explained behind naming her knives but it was so weird and confusing when you’re hella drowsy and trying to read as fast as you can (I was a tad late on this buddy read, my bad.)
World Building & Magic System
The world building was…pretty good in terms of explaining some of the certain aspects of each culture in the timeline, but it wasn’t as great as it could be. It had so much potential and I wish LeGrand had expanded more onto other things in this world. I couldn’t imagine the world very clearly, the only cultural things I can name off the top of my head were the churches dedicated to each element and patron system, the adatrox guards like everywhere, a vague idea on the amount of control this empire has over majority of the world, and the apparent underground where Eliana works and such.
There was soooo much potential and I really hope that in the next books that LeGrand can expand on each world in the timeline so we can get a better idea of other things – like in Rielle’s timeline, did everyone have magic? was it restricted to people from which land they were from according to which patron saint lived there? to quote Britney Spears, give me moooooreeee. I also kind of wanted to see some linguistic variation, a 1000 years is a long ass time and language changes a lot. Maybe some different expressions or slang (Enters Jay Kristoff the master of such things).
Plot & Prose
Now, this is what I enjoyed. The premise was so original and so intriguing in this book. The chapters switching between Eliana and Rielle was a little confusing at first but then made it even better as more and more action happened. The action was definitely fast-paced, and probably sometimes too fast cause obviously it took a toll on relationships and character development a little. The writing was really easy to read and get into, making it even faster to get through each chapter when the chapters are already quite short. Although many times I kind of expected more complex writing especially for such a complex fantasy with an intricate world and magic system, it almost felt too easy to read, on the border of an awesome Wattpad or fanfic story. Still really easy to read and it definitely made it more enjoyable.
I really liked it and enjoyed it. It has a lot of potential for future books, and I’ll definitely be looking out for the sequel. I saw many of the big reveals and such but it was still awesome to get a few shockers and just be pretty excited to see what happens action and plot-wise. I hope the characters get developped more in the book too. I definitely recommend it to any fantasy lovers, right now I’m unfortunately not in the fantasy mood so I’m probably a lot more critical and I also just didn’t have that hype for it like I might when I’m in a fantasy mood, so I’m looking forward to a potential reread next year when the sequel might come out.
That’s all for now,