If they view witchcraft as a weapon, I must learn to wield it against them […] before they can use it against me.
Princess Aurelia has been surrounded by death from the day she was born. It made her own people distrust her. Hate her, even. Now, she is forced to escape her home after a failed assassination attempt and travel to a foreign country to marry a prince she never even met. But nothing goes according to plan.
I really enjoyed the writing style. It made this novel easy to read, even when the story was getting really dark and heavy. This book was written in first person and somehow that didn’t bother me at all. Usually I prefer third person, but this perspective worked really well with the story.
Aurelia is a very inspiring heroine. She’s a mature and responsible person with a set of values set in stone. It was very refreshing to see a character who is not willing to compromise them, not even for love. That said, she sometimes acted rather foolish and impulsive and that could get really aggravating to witness.
This book started with a very popular trope (though it’s one I love dearly) – a guard in love with a person they are supposed to protect. I was pretty happy with that, but when the book took a different turn I was quite surprised. And very satisfied with the outcome.
The author creates characters that you can care about, even when they don’t exactly feel real. This book has a very tolkien-ish way of looking at world – with most people being either absolutely good or wholly bad. Especially the king of Achleva was incredibly exaggerated. I think his incompetence could be presented in a subtler way and it would make him actually feel like some kind of threat or an actual obstacle.
First of all, this book turned out to be MUCH darker than I had anticipated. It didn’t shy away from harder topics or painful scenes. The author also never hesitated to kill off her characters, so you could never be sure of anyone’s safety. Bloodleaf was filled with heartbreaking scenes, but it made those few agonizingly sweet moments feel incredibly precious.
This book definitely took me on a completely different ride from the one I was expecting. It was filled with plot twist, most of which I honestly didn’t see coming. This novel made me stay up for most of the night, even though I had an entire day of classes ahead of me, so that has to be saying something.
That said, I felt like some scenes were a little bit too rushed. Especially since the build-up was so intense and nerve-wracking.
I loved reading this book. It was an absolute treat. An action-packed, surprising treat with a tiny bit of a very, very sweet romance. I already can’t wait for the sequel. And this book didn’t even come out yet (but it’s coming out soon – mark March 12th on your calendars!).
Content warnings: rape attempt, animal death, death, blood, pregnancy, childbirth
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review