For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…
Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.
Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.
In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.
Okay we are going to get my negative out of the road first. This was also the reason this book got 4.5 instead of 5 stars! INSTA LOVE!! Just no! There is not a single book with insta love that I’m like YES BITCH! Just nope..
Moving on! I adore the writing of this book! I DEVOURED it honestly, I read it late into the night until I literally fell asleep because I didn’t want to put it down! This world that is described in this book is so vivid an atmospheric! I loved it! I could picture the whole thing and I love the idea of village on the ocean. Houses just sticking out of the ocean and little boats to travel between it. I love the world!
I also really enjoyed the plot. It was full of interesting plot points and many twists I wasn’t expecting at all! It was super unpredictable and it kept me hooked the entire time! As I said before, I literally couldn’t put it down half the time!
I’ve already spoken on the Insta Love, so I won’t mention that again to do with the character. But I really enjoyed all the. characters, even the ones that are not likeable people, I enjoyed how they were written. All the characters felt very fleshed out and I loved seeing how they developed through the book!
I really enjoyed this book, obviously except the romance… Hopefully that is better in book 2, Kingdom of Sea and Stone. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series and I also love that this looks like it’s going to be a duology!
Thank you to NetGalley & Harlequin Australia for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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