Aurelia Barone, Jewel of Starry Stone, harbors no illusions about the purpose of her life as heir to the throne. But after two failed betrothals, she starts to feel like nothing more than a pawn being moved aimlessly about a game board.
Until the night she loses everything.
Kidnapped by a wise-cracking mercenary with more than one identity, Aurelia embarks on a mission across land and sea to avenge her father’s death.
But an evil is rising from the ashes of memory. Insidious magic is stirring. The dregs of a once-powerful nation are thirsty for blood and revenge.
They seek to harness Aurelia. To tempt her. To manipulate her.
And if necessary, to destroy her.
Arc kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Α shocking book, in a good way of course! The prologue was a great start and left a good impression on me. The writting style was pleasant and not tiring; simplicity is perfection. It was the first book with multiple characters that didn’t confuse me at all and I could follow the story without getting lost. This means a lot because I’ve tried a lot of books with many characters and it was a disaster every time.
Aurelia was the heiress of the throne and I have to confess that I was expecting her to be annoying and bitchy. She proved me wrong because no matter what happened to her, she remained kind and strong, without showing the weak side (which existed of course because we all have one). She was real and I could relate because she was not the usual flawless girl we read about in YA books. No, Aurelia had flaws and insecurities that real girls have.
[Her arms were scrawny, her breasts small, her hips too narrow.]
Because of the multiple characters we didn’t have the chance to get to know her more but her scenes were enough to understand her need to revenge and get her throne back.
Kostadin, Rycen and Marel were the other characters that drew my attention. Kostadin… let me keep Kostadin a secret! I will only say that he is quite charming and evil and that you’ll want to read about him.
[“Evil is just… so harsh. I prefer ethically unfettered.”]
Rycen was Aurelia’s love interest and mine as well. He could be a great book boyfriend. Mysterious and brave, a tad selfish (but that made him more real), smart and handsome.
[He smelled of smoke and leather and hay. It was the smell of wild and freedom, like nothing she had ever experienced before.]
At this point I would like to say that I was impressed that the book just broke all the stereotypical stuff I was expecting to read in a YA book. One of them was about Rycen’s appearance.
[She run her fingers over the angry scar that marred his broad chest.]
[She stroked the fine dusting of dark hair that covered his chest and abdomen.
YESH, a flawed hairy man at last! I was so sick and tired of the perfect guys with perfect skin and perfect abs! I needed a MAN not a freaking doll.
Rycen was breathtaking.
[… his eyes were the color of the sea during a storm, which cut through the fog in her mind.]
Marel was the villain. A really interesting villain I can say. I didn’t mind reading about him and the approach was excellent. We had a point of view from the bad guy and we knew things that the lead didn’t know and it was awesome. Knowing all the plans and plotting against the good guys while they had no idea and they were planning something different made me feel so on the ball and I wanted to warn them but I couldn’t and it was amazing,
Other than that the pace was fast and the book was rushed. The exact same story would be better in two books. We would have the chance to know more about the characters and their world. Well, I’m not saying that it was bad but it could be even better in two parts.
I am satisfied with what I’ve read and yes if you’re thinking of reading the book, just do it!
Jessica wrote and illustrated her first story in the fourth grade. “The Dragon of Grindley Grun” was about an evil wizard, a princess, and a dragon who was actually a prince. She likes to think her writing has evolved since that very first story, even though she still writes about magic and evil wizards…sometimes.
She likes to sing loudly and dance on occasion without being particularly talented at either. Her interests include reading, writing, procrastinating, animal advocacy, musicals, accessories, memes, Harry Potter, and sweet tea.
Jessica lives in Kentucky with a spoiled pitbull.