Series: Rook & Rose #1
Thank you to Orbit for a final copy of this book!
I’ve had my eye on this one for a while, and I hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet, so I was delighted when Orbit sent me a copy. Not only is the cover fantastic, the story inside is as well!
Ren is such a character, and I loved following her and the unraveling of her story (and there is still yet more to unpack, I’m sure). We can see the different facades that she puts on in this book, and how she tries to get by. One aspect of this is that Ren is a multifaceted character. She isn’t a character who is aligned necessarily with “good” but is driven by what is best for her and her family. She’d do anything for them. I love that bond that she shares with them. It makes for some good moments throughout the book.
This is a political book, and it is all about the worlds politics and how they interact with each other, and how the different classes are viewed. Also, a bonus, queerness is woven in and normalized in this world, so that always gets two thumbs up from me. I love when fantasy books do that. Speaking of queerness, we do see a couple sapphic and achillean relationships in this book. But I think what surprised me the most is that there isn’t a romance subplot so much — which I didn’t even really realize until I finished the book and went…huh. So, that for me, was interesting.
There are side characters who are flawed, and are morally grey (my favorite type) and they make the book work. They’re dynamic and interesting and multifaceted.
I very much enjoyed how the book was written (although I felt that some of the pacing was overly drawn out in parts, but it wasn’t bad by any means) and I am very much looking forward to reading the second book in this trilogy.