Beyond the Red
Alien queen Kora is the first ruler of her territory in generations. Jae does a great job showing Kora's struggles to be taken seriously by her subjects who don't respect her and rather have her twin brother as their ruler. Kora is strong but also vulnerable. After a raid that slaughters nomadic human rebels, she encounters Eros, who is a half-blood. Usually they are killed at birth but Eros has survived. The chemistry between these two is heart wrenching and doomed at the start due to the hatred against half-bloods.
I really felt for Eros's pain. The only ones who loved him were slaughtered and even his so-called 'people' don't want anything to do with him. He's a reminder of what the people don't want--mixing of races. Eros is multi-layered throughout the story. Readers see the tough exterior he needs in order to survive and also his vulnerabilities which include not only his attraction to Kora, who he blames for the death of his family, to the fleeing moments between a younger relative who hasn't been touched by the tribes prejudice.
Intriguing world building which includes the end result of humans trying to occupy an alien world. Here humans are the hated ones. There's lots of vivid images of this red sand world that reminded me a lot of Dune. Beyond The Red also has the court intrigues and power plays.
Court intrigue, forbidden love, rebel attacks, and vivid world building. This story has something for everyone. I can't wait for the next book!
2. Love Eros!
3. Great world building