Hailey lays all the groundwork for this epic steampunk fantasy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well, that was beyond epic.
As a series opener, it gives a lot of important information but you’re not bombarded with it. Each character who will have a significant role to play throughout the saga is introduced in their own clearly labelled chapter in a Prologue which sets up the series.
There’s a fabulously complex world being built in each of these chapters and you very quickly get a sense of each of the individual countries and the Star Gods which influence them and the lives of all their inhabitants.
This isn’t just an MM romance either, there are two male pairings and OMG I adore them both, but we also have an FF couple and a potential MF pairing, and each set of characters is so beautifully suited that it’s difficult to pick favourites.
However, the FF pairing are both intriguing and also giving me all kinds of mixed feels because our main protagonist in the doing of dodgy deeds is one of them. I love the morally grey characters of fantasy romance because they make you think.
Eimarille Rourke is a wonderfully crafted character, she’s strong willed, clear of mind, determined and totally in love with her Blade (a kind of bodyguard assassin spy type) Terilyn. I can’t decide atm if I want to yeet her off the face of Maricol or cheer her all the way to the Throne she’s supposed to inherit 😂
Both of the MM pairings though, oh they are wonderous.
Soren & Vanya are Warden & Imperial Prince, such different stations in life and attitudes towards it. But since Soren saved Vanya from an assassination attempt and a bunch of revenants, their paths have intersected.
There’s such awesome vibes between these two. Vanya is fighting foes both openly and hidden within his own court, while Soren answers to no-one other than the head of the Wardens. His path is to fight the risen dead and try to prevent the spread of deadly spores.
And here I want to say ONLY because it’s Hailey Turner am I voluntarily reading a saga that has what are essentially zombies in it!
Blaine and Honovi have my heart right now. They’re everything I love in a fantasy romance. Not only dedicated to each other, this married pair are all about duty, about country, loyalty, protecting the vulnerable, and hiding secrets. Big secrets.
Finally, but very definitely not the least important, is Caris and Nathaniel. I can’t really go into much detail here at all, other than to say Hailey is on my I’m watching you list right now because of things which go down with this pair.
Throughout this book I gasped, I sighed, I had happy thoughts, I had raging almost throw the Kindle out the window thoughts.
I cried! For gawd’s sake, me, crying at a book character’s potential fate, it just doesn’t really happen outside of the fantasy genre so kudos to Ms Turner 🤣
There are secrets, plans within plans, there are deaths, there are births.
Countries fates are played with by the Gods and the threads of this series are laid down with paths that still have twists and turns to come I am sure.
And oh boy I am here for it all!
#ARC kindly received from the author via Valentine PR in return for an honest and unbiased review