Featured Review: House of Eclipses (Casey L. Bond)
About This Book:
Capture his heart. Steal his crown. Free my kingdom.
Noor is the unwanted, unloved third born of the Aten, chosen vessel of the sun goddess, Sol. While she has no chance at inheriting her father’s title, what she truly longs for is peace from his unrelenting hatred. Hope builds that she may finally be able to claim that reprieve when a missive arrives from the House of the Moon.
The new Lumin, chosen of the moon god, Lumos, seeks to broker peace with the Kingdom of Helios for the first time in ages. He envisions open trade routes and an end to archaic rivalries. His dedication to this cause extends to visions of a union between the two families by marrying one of Aten’s daughters, if one of the matches is a fit.
Driven by his own twisted agenda, Noor’s father is willing to sacrifice his daughters as pawns to steal the crown for him to further his despotic reign, pitting sister against sister in a brutal battle for power. But Noor must come out the victor, either by capturing the Lumin’s heart or stealing his crown. For whomever wears the crown of moonlight, holds the power of the moon itself. With such strength at her command, she could finally defeat her tyrannical father.
Yet this endeavor cannot be accomplished without great sacrifice. As Noor learns more about Lumin Caelum, guilt over her betrayal consumes her, burning hot as the sun itself. If only he wasn’t kind, and selfless, and exactly what she wanted. If only she had greater dominion over her heart…
Can Noor carry out her plan and end her father’s vile reign? Or will unlikely alliances allow a new day to dawn?
*Review Contributed by Lillian McCurry, Indie Co-Manager*
House of Eclipses is the first book in a brand new duology from author Casey L. Bond. As the third daughter of the Aten of Helios, Noor is not expected to inherit her father's throne. So when the ruler of Lumina reaches out to the Aten to strike a deal to join their houses, the Aten hatches a plan of his own. What if he brings his second and third-born daughters to present to the Lumin and plants them to steal his mythical crown?
I like Noor. She is a complex creature, but one that I rooted for from the start. Her father is a cruel, abusive man who only wants more power and will stop at nothing to get it. When Noor learns that she is to potentially wed the Lumin and that her father wants the crown, she knows she has to find the crown before her sister and use it for herself and Helios. Noor is fierce, brave, cunning, but also empathetic and kind. I loved how the author depicts Noor with her every interaction with her sisters, father, priests, even the servants. Each different interaction shapes Noor, and I loved her by the end!
Caelum is a breath of fresh air. I adored him, and it was easy to see why Noor can't resist him and questions her own plans. He's kind and caring, steadfast and loyal. His people love him, which strikes a chord with Noor when all she has to compare to is the hatred she feels for her father.
Perhaps my favorite thing about Bond's books is the world-building. It's immersive and vivid. I love this world, though I'm not sure I'd want to live there. The mythology surrounding it ties greatly into the plot and what is driving Noor. There are two kingdoms, Helios and Lumina. Helios is the land of the Sun-goddess, and Lumina is the land of the Moon-god. To be honest, I could read an entire book on their kingdoms and gods. Lumos and Sol's story is heartbreaking in and of itself, but the consequences of their love is even more so and that is the time period in which Noor lives.
Overall I loved House of Eclipses. Noor's journey from the land of the sun to the moon kingdom is both inspiring and heartbreaking as she discovers herself and what fate has in store for her. If you enjoy fantasy, magic, and romance, you are in for a treat with this one.
Final Thought: Beautifully written, House of Eclipses sends readers on Noor's journey, packed full of first love, intrigue, and the heartbreak of betrayal.
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