4/5 – I’d just like to start by saying that this is a queer romance within a fantasy setting and I need more books like this, right now.
I’m no stranger to contemporary LGBTQ+ books, as evidenced by books that I’ve reviewed already, but this was a whole different experience for me. Honestly, I should’ve finished this book soon after I started reading it because it took me about three days to get through the majority of it.
What I was taken aback by was the political intrigue and the mystery of the book, there was something more than the romance at the forefront of the plot and I loved it. Instead of the two Princesses, Denna and Mare, instantly falling for each other and having that be the main conflict. They don’t like each other at all and slowly develop a friendship which then becomes romantic. I found it beautiful to read and it was hard to put down, and I mean that literally because I stayed up past midnight to finish the book. I had a similar experience with Everything Leads to You.
On top of the political conflict is the problem that Denna is betrothed to Mare’s brother who is in line to be King. That is one more thing that keeps them apart once they realize their feelings and honestly, I had no idea how it was going to turn out. I didn’t know if things were going to end happily or not. That’s what kept me reading. I had to figure out how or if they were going to be together. I was invested.
There are a few negatives I had, sometimes the political intrigue was hard to follow, the pacing was inconsistent, and there are a few other things. However, none of those things took away from my enjoyment of the book. I’m easy to please and this book was very pleasing. It was something new to me and a breath of fresh air. I will absolutely read more by Audrey Coulthurst when she publishes new books.