• Abbie Smith

I was given a free copy of this novel in a giveaway, so I had no idea what it was about when I received it.

The first thing I noticed was how short it was. I usually read books that are at least 300 pages, so I was shocked to see this one was less than 200. Either way, I was glad to have a quick read on hand.


This story had so much potential. I can't really give too much of an opinion on it because while it was relatively free of grammar and spelling errors, this definitely felt like a polished first draft.


The genre is dystopian/fantasy/reverse harem romance. I usually really enjoy odd mashups like this, but I felt like the author may have missed the mark.


There were so many things that were glossed over, like the main character's village being burned to the ground. The entire story took place over maybe the course of a week? While reverse harem's aren't usually my jam, the premise promised one queen to rule over them all and five pirates that loved her.


I really wanted to like this, but unfortunately it felt forced and super rushed. If you're looking for a quick read, this definitely has that, but I doubt I'll read any further in the series.


Abbie

This is another one of my Fairyloot reads. I didn't know what to expect going into this one, only that it was adult and fantasy.

This book felt like a cross between Game of Thrones and Throne of Glass.


There are five important families in this. You have the king, then the four families that are gifted with natural magic. Each of those families are descended from the gods. Their powers range from necromancy, to darkness, to light, to elemental.


This book is really long. I'll admit, there were parts where I didn't really want to keep picking it up, but I knew I had to finish it. That's not to say that it was bad, just that I felt like maybe the plot could have been pared down a little to make it a more enjoyable experience.


I've read in a few places that this reads more like YA than adult, and I have to agree. While it did have some dark themes, some of the things you'd expect on the page (namely, romance and sex scenes), weren't there.


The story has a pretty intriguing plot with a lot of fun, magic-filled action sequences. I felt a little let down by the premise not being fulfilled in the end of the novel.


I know this is really vague, but I felt like the blurb provided with the book provides a good summary of the plot, so I've included it below:


Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk is the first in a dark epic fantasy trilogy that follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.
The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.
But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.
Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light— will sacrifice everything to save the city.
But their defiance will cost them dearly.

All in all, this first novel really felt like more of a setup than being able to stand on its own. I can't say whether I'll continue it, but if you're looking for a heavy fantasy filled novel with action and political intrigue, check this out!


Abbie

A friend recommended this book. After reading The Bridge Kingdom series, I wanted to read more. Jensen is fantastic at writing male protagonists, so I was really excited to see what happened with this one.


I'm not huge on pirate stories, but I definitely started this one at the right time. The moment I first started reading it, I got sucked in. I LOVED that the main character, Teriana, was a person of color, serving as first mate to her mother, the leader of a pirate ship. The love interest, Marcus, is a soldier in the empire's army.


There were a ton of Roman references, which I really enjoyed. I like seeing authors take elements from historical cultures and building them into new worlds.


Marcus is being blackmailed by a very powerful man. So much that he has to influence his unit to vote for the man in the elections to put him in charge.


Teriana has a friend who lives on shore. The girl finds out she's being given to a man to be his wife, and Teriana tells her something she isn't supposed to: outside the empire, there are other lands. The empire has taken control of the known world. They think nothing lies beyond the endless oceans. To help her friend, Teriana gives her a way to contact her so she can leave.


This, of course, doesn't end well.


Upon learning this information from Teriana's friend, the empire begins taking out the Maarins, including Teriana's. To spare her people from further torture, she agrees to give away the secrets she's held.


Teriana and Marcus go together to the Dark Shores.


While the main characters were considered Adult by age, the book really read like YA. I'm not totally complaining. It was good, but I really missed the level of heat that's in The Bridge Kingdom. The climax of the story felt a little anti-climactic, but it definitely wont stop me from reading further.


Abbie