I won this book in a giveaway and didn’t realize until I received it that it was part three in a series. There was a lot of backstory that I had to figure out which made it difficult to connect with the main character. I suspect I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had read the first two books.
The writer provides extensive detail into both the landscape and the history encompassing this novel. Her world-building is complex and rich. Thankfully there is a detailed map and the city and a list of the thirty-nine terms and characters introduced in this book. Again, someone who had read the first books would probably be familiar with most of these.
The major premise of the story focuses on Julia who, in order to save her brother, has agreed to allow a parasite to slowly infect her body and take over her brain. She has only a short time to defeat her enemy, remove a sabotaged bomb from her brother’s chest, and pull out her parasite before it takes over her mind. She has a watchdog reporting back all her movements to her enemy and must secretly fight against him or her brother will be killed even sooner.
Julia becomes embroiled in a fight for the throne involving witches and other powerful beings. To complicate matters, she develops a fondness for the rightful heir while being forced to support a false claim. But Julia has a special magical skill of her own which gives her a chance to navigate through the complex and deceptive political forays.
Perhaps because the story was so detailed and I had not read the first books, I found it difficult to connect with Julia and took quite a long time to finish the novel and tackle this review. Your experience, especially if you read the first two in the series, may be different. Eden is an excellent plotter and world builder. If you enjoy complex fantasies, this series is worth looking into.