“We are all half-demon, half-god. The demon half being the mortal side that continually errs, and the godly half being the side that strives to improve. In each life, we endeavour to raise our standing and become closer to everlasting perfection.”
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.
In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.
I had seen this book floating around Goodreads, so when I saw it NetGalley I knew it was one I had to request, the story-line seemed interesting and I really love that cover! However I felt that although this book had so much potential but in the end just didn’t quite meet the mark, not to say that it wasn’t entertaining, it was just a little too predictable.
Kalinda begins her journey as the unattractive sickly orphan who has so much potential, although she see’s herself as less able then her other ‘sisters’ she has an ‘inner fire’ which shines through. Although I didn’t really connect to her as a character I didn’t dislike her and she definitely had her moments of awesomeness. I think the main problem that I had was the instalove between her and Deven, it just didn’t feel like they worked as a couple, there was no build up, no real sexual tension between them, but after the first time they saw each other they were obsessed. I don’t always mind instalove in books but it just didn’t feel right in this one.
The plot was fast paced and I did enjoy the overall story, yes there were parts which were painfully predictable, but it was well thought out and engaging and the main reason I brought my rating up from 3 to 3 and a half stars. The ending wasn’t as ‘explosive’ as it could of been but it showed that the author was willing to put lives on the line to move the book forward which for me is always something good to see. I will definitely be checking out the next book in the series but not with any sense of urgency.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Would I read again: Probably not
Would I Recommend: If you like YA fantasy then this is probably for you
Would I read another book from this author: Yes