Captured by a king of darkness. Forced to find the light within.

Arwen Valondale never expected to be the brave one, offering her life to save her brother’s. Now she’s been taken prisoner by the most dangerous kingdom on the continent, and made to use her rare magical abilities to heal the soldiers of the vicious Onyx King.

Arwen knows better than to face the ancient, wicked woods that surround the castle on her own, which means working with a fellow prisoner might be her only path to freedom. Unfortunately, he’s as infuriating as he is cunning—and seems to take twisted
pleasure in playing on Arwen’s deepest fears.

But here in Onyx Kingdom, trust is a luxury she can’t afford.

To make it out of enemy territory, she’ll have to navigate back-stabbing royals, dark magic, and dangerous beasts. But untold power lies inside Arwen, dormant and waiting for a spark. If she can harness it, she just might be able to escape with her life—and hopefully, her heart.


4 stars

First a big thank you to Kate Golden for sending me her book! I am a sucker for pretty covers and that one is certainly a work of art!

I don’t usually accept unsolicited copies but from time to time, a blurb catches my attention and I accept.

Well I was glad I accepted Kate’s offer!

In A Dawn of Onyx you will find:


*enemies to lovers trope;

* a “who did this to you” hero (that is all the rage on social media at the moment);

*fae and fantastical beasts;

*character growth ;

* also secrets and mysteries around the main character

What is A Dawn of Onyx about?

It’s about Arwen, a young healer who is living in a kingdom at war with the Onyx Kingdom. She has a younger sister and a sick mother. When her brother returns from the war field with something stolen from the feared Onyx King, Arwen offers her services as a healer to the King’s soldiers in exchange for her family’s safety.

Soon, amidst enemies, she will have to find her inner strength to survive, using her enigmatic power.

As this is romantasy, you’ll also have an attractive thief and a broody powerful king somehow sparing verbally with Arwen and that felt like heated foreplay to me!

What’s to like in A Dawn of Onyx?


Well I liked her at least. She is a healer and that means that she is selfless with an inner strength. Owning a strange healing power that she never could explain, Arwen finds joy and relief in healing others and preparing potions. Arwen is also curious, willing to learn about medicine, plants and history.

2)The character growth.

At the beginning of the story, Arwen didn’t consider herself as someone strong. The strong one according to everyone was her brother Ryder. She wanted to be bolder, more adventurous. When kept in an enclosed space, she panicked.

By the end of the story, we will have an emboldened Arwen, trusting in her abilities. She’s been put to the test and came victorious. I do appreciate a good character growth. From mouse to warrior.

3)The mystery surrounding Arwen and the Onyx King.

Why was the king attacking some weak kingdom? What was his end goal?

Why did Arwen possess these powers? What were they?

I must confess that I guessed (part of)the truth about Arwen pretty early on. Probably as I read many fantasy. But we are still left with questions at the end of the story. I guess for book two now. But… I have a theory 😉

4)The Enemies to lovers trope

You could feel right from the start the sparks flying between these two. Even if they were on opposite sides. And the jabs, the banter made it all the more alluring.

5)The friendship.

I love a good friendship in stories and I loved seeing Arwen banding with Mary, the keep’s librarian. Both had been friendless their whole lives and it was heartwarming and amusing to see these two go on risky shenanigans.

A Dawn of Onyx is for you if you like romantasy, fae, enemies to lovers, and a “lost heir” trope. Easy to read, I raced through the 400 plus pages in one day.

Thanks for reading!


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