Ah! I got this as a galley from Netgalley to read about a week ago and started it this morning. I finished it mere hours later. This novel was an absolute THRILLING read. I love hidden pasts and I love bad-ass heroines even more.
This novel was all of it. Magic, hidden heritage, stolen love, ALL THE SECRETS. Throw in a little angstyness and I was sold. First to last.
I love a story with a heroine that not only hold her own, but doesn't need someone to save her. She is a woman who stands tall and fights for what she believes.
Also, we need to talk about this world in general. I need MORE OF IT. So much world building took place that I made friends! I want to know more about all of them and I want to be there for the next chapter.
So many spoilers that I am trying not to scream about, but if you love a story that is not only fantasy, but also truly breathtaking it its strength and characters, than you will love this.
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When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.
Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.
Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.
With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?