An enthralling debut perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone set in a North African-inspired fantasy world where two sisters must fight to the death to win the crown.
Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of marrow and blood–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.
When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.
A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity.
Review: 4 Stars
A River of Royal Blood was a title that I was excited for the second that I had seen its cover and read the synopsis. I had followed this book through pre-publication even though I doubted that I could get my hands on a review copy, so when I learned that the publisher was sending me one I was absolutely thrilled. This book grabbed my attention and didn’t let go. I had a hard time setting it down and now that I am finished with it I am anxious for the sequel.
The plot of princesses fighting for the right to rule the throne is one that I have read before, but Amanda Joy’s writing made A River of Royal Blood stand out. While the pacing wasn’t fast and the book wasn’t full of action I found it compulsively readable and had a hard time tearing myself away from it. The world that Amanda Joy created in this book was rich and filled with vivid descriptions, yet left plenty of room for growth in the following installments. The plot lines were captivating and the plot twist at the end caught me by complete surprise.
I enjoyed reading about all the characters in this story, but I did feel that Eva was lacking a bit of personality and at times she felt a little flat. I think the book could have used a few lighter moments to help show more sides to the characters. Baccha was a character that really fascinated me. I loved his personality and his backstory was so interesting. I also felt that he was so mysterious and I can’t wait to get more of his story in the next book. I loved the different magical races, the fey, khimaer and the bloodkin were each so fascinating and I’m glad they weer a large part of the story. I do hope that in the next installment there will be more history of the world, but also some bloodkin characters, as in this book they were only briefly touched upon.
A River in Royal Blood was an absolutely stunning fantasy debut, filled with captivating writing, a richly built world and a plot twist that I never saw coming, this isn’t a book that you want to miss. I am already itching for the next installment because I need more of this world and I need to know what happens next.
Amanda Joy has an MFA from The New School, and lives in Chicago with her dog Luna. You can find her on twitter and Instagram at @amandajoywrites.
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October 21 – Frolic Media – Author Q&A
October 22 – The Nerdy Girl Express – Review
October 23 – Forever and Everly – Review + Creative Instagram Picture
October 24 – Books with Dorothy – Curated Instagram Picture
October 28 – Beverage and Books – Creative Instagram Picture
October 29 – YA Books Central – Interview + Giveaway
October 30 – Folded Pages Distillery – Blogger Content
October 31 – Tome and Textiles – Creative Instagram Picture
November 4 – Black Bookwyrm Reads – Review + Creative Instagram Picture
November 5 – LiteraryxQueen – Review + Creative Instagram Picture
November 6 – Devouring Books – Author Guest Post
November 7 – Reader Rewind – Creative Instagram Picture