Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of marrow and blood–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive. When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.
Just from the title alone, I wanted to read this book. It sounds dark and a dark royal story sounds amazing. Then it just sounds better from the synopsis. I’ve recently fallen in love with sister stories and this one sounded complicated and bloody. There’s also a Queendom, terrible magick, and handsome princes.
I’m not sure how I feel about this one overall. I didn’t love it, but I liked it well enough. I almost put it down, but I decided to push through since there were a few things that were interesting. The writing was a huge thing that kept me going. It moved forward so easily and made everything more vibrant.
There is a lot of information dump throughout the book. I usually don’t mind, but I felt like it sort of interrupted the flow of the book and more information about the world was explained unevenly throughout the book. It probably served the plot well, but I just thought they way it was executed could have been better.
Despite this, I really enjoyed the world. It was such a unique feel to it. The magic and political system is different from anything I’ve read. I really enjoyed both of them. They’re dark and bloody. I liked how the current rulers of the Queendom were flawed and it reflected on to how the kingdom is run. Most books don’t take this route and I liked seeing how things could be better in this world through Eva and the changes she wanted to make. The magic was really cool and I liked how I got to learn more about at the same time as Eva!
I also really liked Eva. She’s really well rounded and I liked her character. She feels things so deeply. There is such a range of emotions she goes through throughout the book and how they flowed was done really well. It felt realistic and natural.
I didn’t connect to this book a whole lot emotionally. A lot of the scenes that has strong emotions running through them fell flat for me. Stakes didn’t feel as high as they were and I just couldn’t feel the tension in some of them. When something dramatic happened, I would almost miss it because I couldn’t quite connect to the feelings the scene was trying to provoke.
Pacing and the development of some relational aspects were also a bit off for me. Things seemed to jump around and some things the book was going for didn’t really hit the mark personally for me.
There was also a lot less of the sister relationship than I thought there was going to be. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, I just wasn’t expecting it. I think if Eva and Isa had interacted more, I would have been able to connect to the emotional turmoil Eva was feeling more strongly.
Despite the issues I had with this book, I really enjoyed the overall story and I’m looking forward to where it goes in the next book. I think it has a lot of potential. I can’t wait to see where the romance goes, how the magic develops, and the path that Eva decides to take. There’s still so many secrets in this world and I can’t wait to find them out.
A River Of Royal Blood comes out October 29, 2019! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!
Thank you for reading!