The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive. Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her. Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him. Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself. And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge. Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.
With a title like this, I automatically wanted to read it. The synopsis confirmed it was different than what I thought it was going to be, but I was intrigued by the crooks and the ensemble cast. Plus, there was dark magic and revenge and survival were all involved, which is all the better.
I just don’t think this book was for me. It has so many good things, in theory, going for it, but I just wasn’t the biggest fan of them. Everything just seemed alright. The things that were marginally better than alright, were offset by the things I found subpar. There just wasn’t enough that I really loved.
There was a f/f romance! And that is amazing at any time, in any book. Their relationship simmered with tension and their was so much love between them. It was really good.
I don’t know why I didn’t love the characters more. They were all alright. They all have their secrets and they all have anger and fight in them. I liked how different they all were. Tavia uses tricks and illusions to fight, she wants out of the street crawling with crime. Karam is a trained fighter who wants to be a warrior. Saxony has a secret and she has a mission she wants to carry out. Wesley has a big ego, and the skills to back it up. He’s a crook, and he wants to protect his city. It was cool seeing these characters coming together and fighting together. It was less found family than I thought, but I liked the friendships between them. I just didn’t fully connect to any of them, so it made it hard to fully invest in them and what they were trying to do.
The world is really, really fantastic. It has so many intricate ins and outs that are all so amazingly connected. The magic system is different than I’m used to, in a really good way. It has more illusion and trickery in it. But it has depth when you get to the real thing.
There was a lot smashed into this book. There were four characters, with their own individual problems and agendas. Theirs a world with a political system, an underground political system, hidden magic, dark magic, and trick magic. Then there’s the overall arching plot, with its villains and their motivations. It was a lot. And I just don’t think it fit together in a way that I really liked. In my personal opinion! I think a lot of people will really like this book and everything it has to offer. I wasn’t truly shocked by the plot twists, it sort of felt like they just happened. The darkness in the book was really well done, but it was like it just happened. I could appreciate it from afar, but I wasn’t fully invested.
This book was decent, it just wasn’t for me. It has a great feel to it, with an amazing world, and a queer romance. I didn’t truly love the story and didn’t truly connect with the characters, but it was still alright.
Thank you for reading!