I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away from it.
Children have been disappearing from across Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her friend’s sister is snatched, Rae knows she can’t look away any longer – even if that means seeking answers from the royal court, where her country upbringing and clubfoot will only invite ridicule.
Yet the court holds its share of surprises. There she discovers an ally in the foreign princess, who recruits her as an attendant. Armed with the princess’s support, Rae seeks answers in the dark city streets, finding unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges street thief with secrets of his own. But treachery runs deep, and the more Rae uncovers, the more she endangers the kingdom itself.
About the Author:
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.Intisar used to write grants and develop projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn.
An eARC of the book was provided for me through Qamar Blog Tours and the publisher (HarperTeen) as part of this promotional tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.
TW: assault, ableism towards Main Character, human trafficking
I was so excited to read this book because I really enjoyed Thorn and this was a companion novel for that. Even though you technically don’t have to have read Thorn to enjoy this novel, I would definitely recommend doing so since the main characters from that book make more than just a cameo and play a pretty big role in the books which made my heart very happy!
I also read the prequel (The Bone Knife) before starting this which gave me a little extra insight on Rae’s character but is also not required to enjoy this story! This follows Rae, the oldest sibling of a small horse farm family. She decides to go visit her cousin Melly during the royal family’s wedding not only for her family but also to see if she can solve the mystery of the missing children that are vanishing without even a trace.
The writing style in this book was so great and much faster paced than in Thorn. While Thorn was a slower paced book which I enjoyed, you can tell the author’s writing has only strengthened since then and it made this book all the more enjoyable.
Right off the bat, Rae is an extremely powerful character. She has a clubfoot and has to deal with a lot of ableist people but that doesn’t stop her from being a total badass. She’s so snarky and sarcastic and relatable. If you’ve read Thorn, she’s such a different character from Alyrra in so many ways and their strengths are in different places and it was so interesting to see.
I really loved reading in Rae’s POV especially because she didn’t tolerate any of the political BS and didn’t hesitate to call anyone out on being wrong. Honestly the most relatable character ever. Like Rae straight up said that she hated all these sneaky politicians but had to spend so much time dealing with politics it was honestly hilarious.
I had so much fun trying to dissect the mystery with Rae and it was honestly so well done I was screaming by the end! Disclaimer: I had NO idea that there would be a sequel to this so basically I was ready to fight at the end!
This book had everything from great family dynamics, friendship, crazy politics and even a few cute moments that I really hope we get to see more of in the sequel! I would recommend this to anyone who loves solving a little bit of a mystery, a little bit of Fae magic, thieves with a bit of a moral compass, and snarky and sarcastic main characters who aren’t afraid to stand up for what’s right. If you enjoy reading about trying to find the root of corruption in a political system, protecting loved ones at any cost, and just want a really great story of twists and turns this is definitely the book for you!
Make sure to check out the rest of the tour!