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A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

Publisher: Putnam (October 29, 2019)

Genre: YA Fantasy

I felt no fear. Death had been perched on my shoulder for months.

Eva and her sister Isa are princesses in a line of royalty whose Queens are decided by murder. One must kill the other.

But Eva cannot access or control her magic, because it is so rare that there are none to teach her how to use Blood and Marrow. Her sister’s Persuasion could destroy her easily upon her challenge, after her seventeenth birthday.

In the first book of this series, Eva will find an unlikely band of allies who will help her to not only access her magic, but to learn who she truly is.

If you are a fan of The Cruel Prince, this has that royal intrigue and magic, and even has some fey characters. It was a fun read, but seemed a bit watered down to me. I rarely say that a book could have been longer, but I could have used more scene building. Sometimes the plot just jumps right into what’s occurring, and I need that suspenseful build up into it to make me understand that something big is about to happen.

I’m torn about how to rate this one. The author’s descriptions of the state of the protagonists mind were very detailed, and her poignant depiction of Eva’s grief was so accurate and tore at my heart. This is where the real strength of the writing in this book was. The details around and leading up to events were lacking, however. With such an excellent plot, I wasn’t gripped by each page as i wanted to be.

So 3 for plot movement and 5 for story and character building, making it an overall 4. I will be reading the next one.

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