In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place. Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both. When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.
I came across this book because the cover knocked me off my feet. My friend is friends with the author, so when she showed me the cover, I was enthralled. It’s gorgeous and a little bit frightening and a kind of powerful. Plus, it sounded amazing too. Armies of children forced to undergo transformations to fight for a cruel king. It definitely sounded like something I would like to try out. Trigger warnings: grief, torture
I basically sobbed my way to writing this post. I fell head over heels for this show. When I finished it, I didn’t want to write a review. Which is weird, because I have this deep, burning love for it inside of me and I usually want to share that here. I just feel like anything I could write about it wouldn’t do it and what I’m feeling justice. I don’t want to talk about just what I liked about. This show was so good and touched me so deeply for so many more reasons than that. But I do want to talk about, because I have things to say about it. This show touched me and I want to share that. So, this won’t really be a review. It’ll still be a lot of me rambling, but i’ll be a bit more personal rambling. Really, this show is just incredible special and I’m going to take the chance to talk about what it left me feeling.
Naomi Westfield has an Instagram-perfect life, including the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family every bride dreams of being a part of. They never fight, complain, or disagree. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And they are miserably and utterly sick of each other. Tired of contorting herself to fit the ridiculous standards demanded by Nicholas’s family, Naomi wants out of the relationship. But there’s a catch: Whoever calls off the engagement will have to foot the enormous bill for the wedding. When Naomi finds out that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of wills to see who can annoy the other into surrendering through pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare. But now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves. They’re having so much fun getting on each other’s nerves that it starts to feel like something else entirely. As Naomi discovers hidden feelings for Nicholas buried under three years of simmering resentment, she wonders if he feels the same way. Suddenly, the countdown to the wedding that may or may not come to pass feels more like a race to mutual destruction–and Naomi doesn’t want to be left alone at the finish line.
When I first read the synopsis for this book, I didn’t really think I would like it. It sounded angsty, and I just didn’t think it would really be something I would want to read. Maybe sometime, but who knows when. And if I’m being completely honestly, I really didn’t love the cover. I know, I know! I’m so sorry, but I’m not a huge fan of the font. Nevertheless, one of my friends read it and adored it, and I wanted to read a romance book, so I thought I would give it a try!