Small question, uhm, has a book ever taunted you? I know they can stalk us. Algorithms and such making them pop up everywhere. But I mean taunt. As in you see the book and you see people talking about the book and you feel like a little invisible tug on your soul that whispers, “You should read me.” Just randomly, when you are looking over your TBR list and looking at the cover, you hear, “You should read me.”
Author Nisha J Tuli had a video of hers go viral this last week (Over 3 million views viral), because she “included a highlighted and annotated look at the first line of the Trial of the Sun Queen”. Nisha was laughing because so many of those views were from people freaking out that she dared to write in her own book. I mean, people going nuts because the author of the book wrote in one of her many copies of the book she wrote, is a sign that people are wound wayyyyy too tightly. We love our books, but as Nisha herself puts it, “Yes. Stories are certainly precious. The actual books? Not as much!”
It is gut boiling. And to her credit, I felt it. That is the potency of Rebecca Yarros and her words. Because a good book, for me, is one that disrupts me. It takes me out of my lane, steals my focus, and commands my attention. Yes, I was upset while reading, but she had me. And in hindsight, Iron Flame is the perfectly laid conduit to transition readers away from Basgiath War College into the deeply engulfing world of The Empyrean.
Never have I ever come across this magical skill in a book before. Verity’s magic is directly related to art. Paintings. Her abilities allow her to restore artwork, not just deftly, but magically, as she channels the master painters who did the original piece. She recreates exactly what the masters did when they painted the first time around. Stunning right? I know!
From the first few test pages, Devonnie had me hooked. All I remember is downloading the first book from Amazon, then I blinked and in a few days, the full 5 book series was done. The fog that engulfed me had lifted and, once again, I was able to read. To fully read and finish books! That was a HUGE relief. How did that happen? Well!
But what else can you expect when a sarcastic survivor is placed in jail as a child until she is secretly stolen away to compete for a queendom in a neighboring land? A competition, btw, that can be and has been, dun dun dun, deadly.
I had snark! I had independence! I had romance, but not the icky squishy kind; it was love where the woman could still be her brave, action sheroe self. I thought this was it. This is the goal. This is what I have been waiting to read and have access to read all my life. And honestly, I still love those authors. I comfort read their books, and I am always searching for authors like them. It is all AMAZING work. But. They are not my unicorn treasures.
Because you begin to unconsciously absorb what the ‘important’ people look like. What they sound like. What they think like. Your vision of the ‘right world’ and the ‘right culture’ is shaped by people who seem to not even know or probably care that you exist. Your subconscious begins to be unwittingly shaped into a very colonial controlled space.
I have never before read this kind of twist on the existence of Vampires, Fae, and Magical Humans. It was a refreshing take! The book is one of those that gradually slides new information to you, the reader. It feels as though petal by petal you are diving deeper into a story that is hiding major secrets.
At its core it is an enemies to lovers story with a twist. They start off as enemies, fighting, at each other's throats, but then, one of them loses her memory. The book starts after the main character has lost her memory and she is in desperate need of a safe space to hide and recover. She heads STRAIGHT to her enemy's house, since her subconscious mind knows that is where she will find sanctuary.