"Nemesis" is a really enthralling YA fantasy. We begin with Sepora who is fleeing her kingdom to prevent the war her father is trying to begin. Sepora is a Forger, someone who is able to make spectorium, an invaluable element that has brought her kingdom wealth- and weapons. She escapes to neighboring Theoria only to be captured by slavers and brought to market, where she is sold to the palace. Tarik has recently become the Falcon King after the death of his father. Although young, he holds a great deal of responsibility and feels the weight of it. Tarik's kingdom is suffering under a plague they don't understand, and he feels powerless to save the people he cares deeply about.
When the two collide, the combination is electric. I found the first 20% of the book to be a bit hard to follow and tedious, but the last 80% was absolutely amazing and I could not stop reading. I was so glad I didn't put this one down, and now absolutely cannot wait to read the next book in this series. The flow, alternating between Tarik and Sepora, is perfect, and I loved getting both of their perspectives on the events within. Their relationship is electric, and the pace is perfect.
The world-building was really fantastic, and there are all manner of new creatures, jobs, and countries that I look forward to exploring even more in future books. We learn the most about the Parani- somewhat piranha-like human sea creatures that eat the flesh of people and rule over the Nefari (river). It was fascinating to see them built up/learn more about what/who they really are. Sepora has a soft spot for all living beings, and we get to explore some of the diverse creatures of this world through her eyes. I don't want to say too much about this world, but it was really incredible and unique. I was completely wrapped up in the novel and devoured every delightful page.
This is a really fantastic novel for YA fantasy lovers, and I highly recommend it! I can see it having broad appeal, especially for fans of books by Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.