A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.
Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.
In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light.
Nadya, a young woman with the power of gods on her side finds herself working with the enemy — a young man who uses “blood magic”. He convinces her to help him kill the king. The prince, too, desires his father’s death. The three seem to be working for the same purpose, but will they join together and be able to accomplish this mammoth task?
I was hooked from the first few pages. It was such an intriguing idea, and I loved it. The opposite sides have two very different, but relevant views to each other. It is almost as if they are a mirror of each other. For what it is worth, Duncan is a great writer. I loved how she wrote this book, and the switching of POVs was well done and I enjoyed it. It didn’t seem awkward at all, as it can sometimes when you’ve got a switching of POVs.
As far as plot, there is much more to it than simply killing the king, but it is all really subtle. There are little intricacies that don’t seem all that important, but turn out to be important in some ways. The plot is complicated, and it doesn’t end at the end of this book, as the sequel will pick up where this one left off. One of the subplots was wrapped up, and I’m very excited to see where this goes.
A real plus is that there isn’t a love triangle and the romance wasn’t done horribly. Normally in books like this I expect a love triangle. I did not get that and so I was very pleased, I enjoyed the bit of romance that was in it for what it was. It was a very small part of the book, but it worked well within the plot.
The characters now, are very interesting. Nadya isn’t powerful on her own, she’s powerful because of the gods she serves. She isn’t super powered and she doesn’t suddenly gain massive strength, but this book I think shows her inner strength as she grows as a character within the book. And while I may not always like her, she was still a good character. (I see a lot of people comparing her with Alina from The Grisha Trilogy, and they’re both on about par with just okay characters, expect Nadya is less powerful and not as annoying so far. That could change when the second book comes out.)
Malachiasz was the least interesting character to me. He feels like the typical bad boy fantasy YA character you get. Nothing wrong with that, it just felt like there wasn’t anything about him that really stood out to me.
Serefinn is my favorite of them all. He’s actually very interesting and so are the secondary characters around him. I don’t want to spoil too much of his story, but this book is worth reading because of him.
I’ll be interested to see what happens in the second book!*
*I ended up getting an ARC of Ruthless Gods that I reviewed here!