After weeks and weeks of reading contemporary/romance, I finally dipped back into my fantasy bag and most of that had to do with Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier. I picked it up on a whim, and now all I want to do is read fantasy again, and I'm here for it!
|Pub Date: 11-9-21|
YA - Fantasy
After being imprisoned for three years, all Lord Cassia--Cas--wants to do is return to his home in Palmerin. With a plague devastating the land, Cas wants to make sure his people, especially his brother, are safe. Along the way, Cas crosses paths with Lena, a young historian who not only steals his attention but his horse as well. The pair reluctantly agree to travel together, but when they finally arrive in Palmerin, Cas quickly realizes it isn't as he remembers.
Since Palmerin was lucky enough to escape the worst of the plague, it became a haven for the royal court, with the King and Queen taking up residence in the castle where Cas grew up. Despite the unexpected guests, Cas is looking forward to spending time with his brother and trying to forget the horrors he endured. But when an assassin targets those closest to the Queen, Cas is drawn into the hunt. Cas can tell there are bigger secrets at play, so he teams up with Lena to uncover the truth about what's happening. But what they discover has the potential to bring a war to the whole kingdom.
I went in knowing nothing about this, and I was hooked right from the start. I thought Lucier did a great job crafting the world and the characters. Cas has been through such abuse and trauma, but he never let it break him. He was strong and brave and didn't flinch from what needed to be done. He did have moments of weakness but let himself learn from them. I loved his relationship with Lena. They had such an ease about them and the way they bantered. I enjoyed how the romance between them was subtle and felt natural. The mystery aspect of who was behind the killings was engaging, and even though I guessed the twist, I was still satisfied by how it played out. I'm not going to say this was without flaws because I did think some phrases were overused, and certain things I wished were explained more regarding Cas and his abilities, but I still loved this. I was entertained the whole time and never wanted to put it down. It's one of those rare times where I almost wish this wasn't a standalone because I want more from these characters and this world, but I'll settle for picking up whatever Lucier comes out with next.