*I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Title: A River of Royal Blood
Author: Amanda Joy
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of marrow and blood–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.
When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.
A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity.
Review: Overall, I’d say this was an okay read. I think what I enjoyed most were actually the characters, although I did find the secondary ones to be more interesting. This was a pretty slow-going read to start and I was hoping more more of that sister rivalry, but their relationship was mostly shown in flashbacks. I definitely found this story to be kind of lacking in the magic department and I feel like it needed more fleshing out. The beginning was especially confusing for me because I’m honestly still not sure how it ties in with the story.
My favourite part was definitely the end because I was not expecting it. I’m interested to see what happens in the next book and I really hope to understand the world and magic system more. Also, I wouldn’t mind getting more of a certain khimaer…
If you enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, definitely give this one a try because both books deal with an age-old war against chimaera, or in this case, khimaer.