Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 730
engaging, dark conclusion to this YA fantasy duology
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
WARMAIDENS is a thrilling conclusion to an intriguing duology. In this world, women have few rights and those only last as long as the whims of the men around them. Kammani had taken on the healing mantle after her father was excommunicated for failing to heal an impossible injury. She has gained some renown for her abilities. However, at the end of the second book, she, her sister, and the other selected wives were entombed with the deceased lugal (ruler).

They have tried to move on and live their lives outside of Alu (the kingdom from where they came), but when assassins arrive with them in their sights, they realize that the current lugal will never be content to let them live their lives. The ensuing fray and battles will determine not only their lives, but the lives of those who live throughout Alu.

What I loved: This book hits the ground running, and it is definitely helpful to have recently read the first, as no words are spared to recap it. This book begins with a fast pace that continues throughout the pages, making it quite an intense read with many dark moments. There are some excellent themes in the book that make it one that would be perfect for book clubs, including marriage, gendered roles, gender equality, war, and the morality of death, such as whether it is worth one life to save many. I found this to be quite a thought-provoking read, and I appreciated the depth of these themes in the overall complex story.

This book was quite dark at times, but I found this really added some heft behind the themes and showed the brutality and difficulty of war, death, and gender inequality. Kammani is a strong main character, who is still troubled by the decisions with which she is faced from potentially entering into marriage to the actions she would need to take to prevent war. Seeing through her eyes reveals the complexity of the world around her.

Final verdict: Dark, bold, and unflinching, WARMAIDENS is a fast-paced conclusion to the GRAVEMAIDENS duology. Highly recommend for fans of GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT, and EMBER IN THE ASHES.
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