I received this for the publisher in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review which is unbiased and honest.
I am upset at myself for waiting so long to read this book but I’m also so glad that I waited because that makes the wait for the next one less and I definitely CANNOT WAIT.
I think this is one of the few books where being thrown into a world and being bombarded with new information didn’t put me off because you could genuinely feel Bree’s emotions and feelings and I think it added an extra layer to her that we wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. That being said, if I hadn’t watched Merlin I probably would have been extremely confused about Arthurian legend and it was definitely fun seeing familiar names and characters!
While I’m not black, I do know what it’s like to be one of the only POC in a southern state and then basically being like the centerpiece of that race. It’s a very isolating feeling and I really resonated with Bree in that way.
That being said, this book hit hard when talking about the history that America tends to kind of gloss over. Slavery and black history erasure was a centerpiece of this book and it explored that history in a really deep hard hitting way while also keeping the Arthurian magic and legend intertwined with it which was really cool.
There were a few scenes specifically that explored hidden history and magic that were so vivid I felt like I was watching a tv show with really amazing flashback and magical scenes!
On top of all that, I had no idea this would include a magical competition of sorts and I was absolutely here for it! I’m telling you this absolutely NEEDS to be a tv show! I’d watch it on repeat!
The characters were absolutely phenomenal. I loved Bree’s friendship with Alice (though the friendship angst hurt my heart at times) and oh my gosh, William is for sure my favorite character. William and I would absolutely be best friends I don’t make the rules this is just facts.
I think Bree’s exploration of trauma and loss and grief was so powerful and I genuinely felt every emotion Bree went through!
Now we get to the two boys. I didn’t WANT to change teams but I genuinely LOVE both of the love interests but Selwyn really came for me in that last half of the book (for those that have read the book, the dance scene converted me). Selwyn is literally so funny and dramatic broody boy. His scenes made me laugh every. time.
Nick is just such a soft boy and HE COMMUNICATES WITH BREE? THERE’S GENUINELY GOOD HEALTHY COMMUNICATION AND ADORABLENESS? PHENOMENAL. Their connection was so wonderful to read and I honestly do feel pretty torn!
One of the rare love triangles that actually has me! What I love is that the romance isn’t really the center of the story and there’s just SO MUCH to enjoy and dissect and read. Like I know I’ll be re reading this a few times!
The ending of the story was so well crafted and I couldn’t stop reading (even though I was supposed to be buddy reading it and I couldn’t help myself and read wayyyyy ahead). This is definitely one of my top books of the year and for sure on my all time favorites list!
If you enjoy Arthurian legend, magic in the modern world, magical competitions that definitely had sky high vibes, the funniest Twilight reference I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, and amazing friendships I would highly recommend this! Read this if you like soft adorable charming boys and also broody absolutely chaotic and dramatic boys and also a badass female that will do anything to get answers! This book also does a phenomenal job of creating a rich magic system and intertwining black history into an action packed book!