State of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury

Sorrow – for that is all she brings us.

Rhannon, a once-thriving country, has been buried under grief and despair. Its ruler, crazy with heartbreak after the loss of his son, made all of his subjects mourn for 18 years now. Colors, laughter, fun – all of it is forbidden.

Sorrow spend her whole life in this miserable court. As a daughter of a chancellor who is mad with grief, she needs to take care of so many of his responsibilities. Still, no matter what she does, she can never get out of her dead brother’s shadow.

Melinda Salisbury’s writing is very easy to read. It’s not necessarily simple, it just feels very natural. She doesn’t shy away from hard topics and she writes them in a way that hits you straight in the guts.

Maybe it’s going to make me sound dumb, but I had a big issue with the names of the two most important countries in this book. And that issue was… they both started with the letter R. I KNOW, OKAY? But because of that I got them mixed so many times that at this point it’s really rather embarrassing. But, sadly, it’s true.

During the course of this book Sorrow goes through a lot and at times following her journey is really challenging. However, I really enjoyed her character’s arc. She starts out doubting her own competence, even though she was raised to one day become the chancellor. She meets many obstacles, some of which reinforce her doubts, but she still grows and learns so much. It’s really hard not to feel proud of her.

I liked that when we start this novel she’s already in a relationship with Rasmus. I thought that it was very refreshing and saved a looot of time. Plus, I really liked how sex-positive this book was. Sorrow is a sexually active teenager and this book doesn’t portray it as anything other than completely natural. Which it is. It was a very nice touch, especially since it’s a young adult novel.

If you are looking for a fast-paced, action-filled novel, you can go ahead and look elsewhere. But I can honestly tell you that this is, hands down, the best political fantasy I have ever read in my life. Also, for the first time I saw an actual political campaign and election in this sort of setting. It was absolutely fascinating.

I may not care all that much for real-world politics. But damn, there’s nothing more fun for me than a good political fantasy. If you can relate to that, State of Sorrow is a must-read for you!

Content warning: drug use, drug addiction, death, animal death (only briefly mentioned)


You can find this book on Goodreads, Book Depository and Amazon

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