I was drawn to this book because of its stunning cover. Reading the blurb I was intrigued by the magical system it eluded to and the concept of duelling sisters. While the book was not exactly what I expected the story did not disappoint.
Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of blood and marrow–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.
A River of royal blood is an enthralling fantasy world inspired by North Africa culture. I loved the set up of the world and the colourful imagery. In the beginning in particular the description of the town and people is wonderful.
Eva is young and it shows in some of her choices but she is strong. She knows her mind and it is great to see how determined her character is. Even in the face of danger she stands her ground and fights.
The story does lag a bit in the middle but then picks up again. I would have liked to see more interaction between the sisters. I felt a little disappointed there wasn’t more conflict between the two. However, the ending was fast paced and left me wanting more.
Joy subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity. This was a good read and I recommend it to any one that loves a good fantasy world full of magic.
I have ordered the next book in the series and can’t wait to dive it. My reading list just keeps growing!