This was a pretty good dark fantasy romance book, but I’m a bit conflicted about it. There are things that I really liked about it, and other things that I really did not. At 10 years old, orphan Raven was deemed the heir of Seolia, a kingdom within the Four Kingdoms. At the beginning of the book, Raven has been ruling for fifteen years. Despite doing a good job, she still feels that she didn’t earn the right to rule, and is hiding the fact that she possesses dark magic -something everyone in the kingdom believes no longer exists.
Raven continues to learn more about her magic as she gets older. She recognizes the dark side of it when she starts to enjoy, and even crave, the ability to kill someone just by touch. During a festival a dark stranger, Cade, crosses paths with Raven and she becomes obsessed with him. This is where the book lost me a bit. Raven is hot. Cade is hot. They have great chemistry. I get it. But Raven’s complete obsessiveness with Cade wasn’t set up well or make sense. When he leaves he also pushes her to get into a relationship with her long-time friend Zeke. Huh? That whole dynamic just didn’t make a lot of sense. However, I’m not a fan of insta-love or love triangles, so it could just be me.
Raven is portrayed as a total bad-ass, but then she lets Zeke boss her around and tell her what to do and meekly accepts whatever Cade throws at her. Everyone has self-doubt and that’s natural, but these two aspects of Raven are inconsistent and it bothered me. But that could just be my issues and it may not bother other readers. I enjoyed learning about Raven’s magic and that was one of my favorite parts of the book.
The premise of this book is good and I liked the main characters. I also liked the various forms of magic in the world. For me, the book was a bit too long and certain sections were repetitive. The book ended on a big cliff hanger that promises more intrigue in future books.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Katie and Brey, PA and the author. All opinions are my own.