The beginning of this story really drew me in. I pretty much loved it until about 40% through and then I found some issues with Ruby. She couldn't seem to make up her mind to be strong, smart, and powerful, or completely rebellious, throwing tantrums, and swooning over a guy. She also just didn't seem to fit her background with a kind, patient mother, and growing up on the outskirts of a small town. Her conflicting actions and feelings became a theme after this point that made me a little frustrated. She hated her role one second and completely believed in it in the next. She hated Arcus one minute and loved him the next. She hated the king one second and gave into him the next. Then somehow she was strong and fierce in battle and then would switch to grovelling, depressed, and weak. I just wanted her to figure things out or decide and then stick with it. Then there was the romance that felt a little off to me and completely took over the story in parts. I think if I had trusted Ruby's character more and she felt more authentic or reliable then other things would have also felt more authentic and fell into place.
I actually really liked Arcus and felt like his character was consistent. There were other parts of the story I really liked as well, such as pitting fire against ice and the folklore that set the stage for the world building. I also got the aspect regarding the king, the corrupt throne, and the king's champions who fight. Overall, this one was half hit and half miss for me.
In the end, was it what I wished for? I had such high hopes for this and loved about half of it and was frustrated with the other half. Those who don't have my issues with Ruby will like this quite a bit more than I did, but I wanted more consistency and more development.
Content: Some violence and suggestive content.
Source: Received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley, which did not require a review nor affect it in any way.
- Action-packed in parts
- Endearing characters
- Dashing hero
- Sweet romance
- Intriguing fantasy world