Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom—and vengeance. Jazmyne is the queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power. Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain—except the lengths they will go to win this game. Deadly, fierce, magnetically addictive: this Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut is a thrilling journey where dangerous magic reigns supreme and betrayal lurks beneath every word.
When you see a cover like that, it’s hard not to be instantly intrigued. And that’s exactly what I was. Two witches, one a long time prisoner and one a princess. Sworn enemies to each other, but willing to come together to bring down a mutual threat. This book sounded dark, brilliant, and absolutely like something I would want to read. I was very much looking forward to giving it a shot. Trigger warnings: death, torture, blood
This book delivered on everything that was promised. It had a way of enveloping me in its magic and it world. It’s an incredibly unique fantasy and I am adding it to the list of books that need to be adapted in place of Game Of Thrones. It’s that good.
I’m going to start off with the writing style. It was so rich and so full. I feel like I don’t have enough words to describe it. It felt like every word was carefully placed to make the most of its impact. It made the book come alive.
I love love loved both Jazmyne and Iraya. I loved how their stories were interwoven and how they interconnected, but I loved seeing how they diverged as well. The alliance between them is tense at best and both of them have their own ideas and plots they want to see played out. I thought I had an idea of both them, but they knocked my expectations to the ground. They surprised me and they way their stories played out was so different than what I had thought was going to happen, but in the best way. It made me realize how much I fell in love with them, and it showed how brilliant of a storyteller Smart is.
I also loved pretty much every single other character. They might have been side characters, but they still had their moments to shine.
The plot of this book is complicated. There are many threads weaving throughout the story and a lot of people want a lot of different things. It was so easy to fall into the plans being presented and then at the end, wonder how you got there. A character isn’t who you thought they were, plans weren’t as solid as you thought, and betrayal is around everything corner. Everybody had their own agenda and secrets were being kept until even the last second.
The world is also something I would describe as incredibly rich. Not rich as in money, but rich as in it’s incredibly crafted and wonderful to read. There’s fantasy animals! Even giant cats that you can ride! But there’s also magic and pirates and gold and complicated political alliances. It was fascinating and I really, really loved it.
This is a smaller thing, but it was something that I really, really liked. There were small touches of romance here and there, and wow were they amazing. It was small moments infused with heat and sweetness and against the backdrop of betrayal, blood, and plotting, they stood out all the more. Small romance moments always seem to get to me in the best way, I loved how they were slipped in there. It’s not a major part of the plot, but certain characters do start to feel things for each other, even if they are enemies. Plus, they were incredibly well done.
All in all, this was an incredible book. It feels like a slow burn. Multiple plots being concocted, fantasy animals, small romance moments that made my heart squeeze, characters that I adored and that surprised me, brilliant writing, and a brilliant world. AND THE LAST LINE WAS SOMETHING VERY AMAZING. It truly is a fantastic book.