Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural – dangerous. An Anastacya Mikhailov, the Crown Princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.
When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work – one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core; Ramson Quicktongue. A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld. Ramson has sinister plans – though he ight have met his match in Ana because in this story the princess might be the most dangerous of all.
“Her Affinity stirred, drawn by the warm pulse of his blood, rushing through her and filling her with a sense of power. At her will, every drop of blood in his body could be hers to command.”
I read the first few chapters of this book as a sampler on Netgalley and it completely sucked me in and I had to order a physical copy immediately.
This is a typical YA fantasy, dark, full of action and adventure and a cast of great characters. I was gripped from the very first scene. The initial chapters are fast-paced and intense, drawing you straight into the action. I absolutely raced through these chapters and the rest of the book carries on at much the same pace.
The author has written a cleverly constructed story with a good strong plot which drives us through the novel and there are lots of twists and turns and political intrigue. The world-building is fabulous with lovely attention to detail and its own creatures and mythology, which is a refreshing change to the norm. It is set against the cold, snowy landscape of Cyrilia and sets the scene perfectly.
The characters are diverse and each one is well drawn and interesting. Ana, our heroine, possesses very powerful and dangerous magical powers. She is a Blood Affinite who can control blood, she draws on the blood of humans and can bleed them dry, this is quite chilling and not for the faint-hearted! There are other Affinites who can control wind, flesh and the mind, to name a few. Linn, one of the side characters, has wind power. I loved her character and she features in a great fight scene right near the end. And, of course, there’s the slow burn romance between Ramson and Ana, I love their teasing and banter and I hope this romance progresses into the next book.
The glossary at the end is very useful, if, unlike myself, you actually spot it before you finish the book! I didn’t realise this was first of a trilogy, so I was a bit disappointed when the story wasn’t wrapped up at the end. But that’s fine, I eagerly await the release of Red Tigress expected 2 March 2021. A really enjoyable debut novel from this author.
I hope you enjoyed this review, happy reading.