Rhea and her twin brother Lexos have spent an eternity helping their father rule their small, unstable country. For a hundred years, they’ve been each other’s only ally, defending one another against their father’s increasingly unpredictable anger. Now, with an independence movement gaining ground and their father’s rule weakening, the twins must take matters into their own hands to keep their family – their entire world – from crashing down around them. But other nations are vying for power, ready to cross and double cross, and if Rhea and Lexos aren’t careful, they’ll end up facing each other across the battlefield.
In a Garden Burning Gold is the author’s debut adult fantasy novel. This Greek inspired fantasy novel has an interesting and unique premise and the writing is beautiful and imaginative. It is a complex story with a lot of world building, particularly in the first half of the book. The pacing is very slow in the first half, the author used this time to set the scene, building up the world and introducing the characters and as a consequence there is very little action. It hits its stride around midway and after some shocking revelations and a wonderful plot twist you become deeply embroiled in the story.
The main protagonists are Rhea and her twin brother, Lexus, but their siblings, Chrysanthi and Nitsos also feature, along with a multitude of other side characters. The siblings have special powers, but Rhea’s and Lexus’s are the most powerful, controlling the changing of the seasons and the tides and stars. There are a lot of characters to get to grips with, but there is a helpful list at the front of the book outlining who they all are. I liked the dual points of view of Rhea and Lexus with very opposing views on the same issues. There is a little bit of light romance between Michali and Rhea, but it doesn’t overshadow the plot.
A Garden Burning Gold is a wonderful combination of fantasy, political intrigue, complex family relationships and Greek culture and it was a little different from the norm. Overall, I enjoyed it but I struggled a little with the slow pacing in the first half and had it not been for the unexpected plot twists and the beautiful writing style I would have found it hard to complete. It would have worked very well as a one-off novel, however I am interested to read book two in the duology to see where it takes us. I’d particularly like to see Chrysanthi and Nitsos play a bigger part.
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date (UK): 5 April 2022
Series: #Argyrosi 1
Page Count: 384
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊