Firstly I would like to say thank you to NetGalley and Random House Australia for letting me read this book in return for my honest review!
The people of Kaya die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other does too. So it has been for thousands of years – until Ava. Vowing revenge upon the barbarian queen of Pirenti, Ava’s plan is interrupted when she is captured by the deadly prince of her enemies. Prince Ambrose has been brought up to kill and hate. But when he takes charge of a strangely captivating Kayan prisoner and is forced to survive with her on a dangerous island, he must reconsider all he holds true . . .
When I first read the description for this book it really intrigued me: the fantasy elements reminded me of the ‘Throne of Glass’ series by S.J. Maas (which I loved!), but with some unique plot ideas that made it stand out as its own unique story. As a result, I had quite high expectations, but I’m glad to say I enjoyed reading it.
The story is told from the point of view of four of the characters: Ava, Ambrose, Rosalyn and Thorne. I liked this as it helped heighten the tension of the plot – this outside view meant you could see all the deceptions and plot developments. This writing style also really helped with the character development, as you can get inside the thoughts of all the main characters, rather than just one.
The characters were all really interesting; they developed and changed (for the better, mostly) as the novel progressed, which was nice to watch. The one time I felt it should have changed sooner was with the character of Ava and her feelings of love – I felt it dragged on too far, and I started to get frustrated with her towards the end.
The storyline was engaging from the very beginning. In the first chapters McConaghy sets out the context of the plot that really pulls the reader in, and make you want to read on and discover what you aren’t told at first. The plot throughout was full of action and suspense, and definitely a page-turner! (Every time I put this book down I wanted to pick it up again and carry on reading!)
However, I did feel that some plot developments weren’t quite realistic; they felt too convenient. For example, when Ambrose wants to find his brother he just happens to choose somewhere that his brother would never usually be, and yet he finds him there… Also, there were some aspects of characters that weren’t explored at all after it was mentioned once, even though they seemed very important. But this book is part of a series, so I imagine McConaghy intends to explore this later.
On the whole, it was a great book, and I really liked it. I will be putting the next books in the series on my Books To Buy List, that’s for sure!