Only the extraordinary belong in the kingdom of Ilya . . . Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in the most epic and sizzling fantasy romance book of the year.
The Elites have possessed powers for decades, gifted to them by the Plague, while those born Ordinary are just that, banished from the kingdom of Ilya and shunned from society.
No one knows this better than Paedyn Gray, an Ordinary posing as a Psychic to blend in with the Elites. When she unsuspectingly saves one of Ilya’s princes, Kai Azer, she’s thrown into the Purging Trials, a brutal competition showcasing the Elites’ powers.
If the Trials and the opponents within them don’t kill her, the prince she’s fighting feelings for will if he discovers what Paedyn is . . . completely Ordinary.
Be swept away by the first in the romantasy trilogy taking the world by storm, containing a special book two sneak peek, coming in May 2024!
That book was all over the place on Instagram so of course, that made me curious. Add the marketing tagline of Red Queen meets the Hunger Games and I had to check if the hype was deserved!
Verdict: it’s a good read but not an extraordinary one, at least to me.
That story has many assets and the author does more than a decent job using these.
-The Red Queen feel.
Indeed, as in Red Queen, you have gifted people, the Elite, running the show while ungifted the Ordinaries, are at the bottom of the totem pole. Worse, the Ordinaries are hunted and killed or, at best, cast out of the Kingdom of Ilya.
But unlike Red Queen, our heroine, Paedyn has no gift at all. Instead of being powerful, she is rather powerless.
Her defense mechanism relies on her brain and her regular fighting skills, be it with knives or a bow.
-The Hunger Games likeness.
I think that any book with a competition to death has a Hunger Games feel, and this is even more true as Paedyn’s weapon of choice, aside her father’s dagger is…the bow! Katniss look alike anyone?
Like the Hunger Games, you have to look good to get sponsors (but I never got why as unlike the Hunger Games, these sponsors don’t do anything for you so it’s a missed opportunity here).
And you also have beautiful gowns to look good for said sponsors.
-The enemies to more trope
Paedyn will unwillingly be thrown into the Purging Trials as a competitor after saving the life of one of the two princes of Ilya. She even saved the one working as an enforcer for the king. Meaning: he kills enemies to the crown and most of the time they are ordinaries like Paedyn!
Add to it that the King was the one to kill Paedyn’s father and you have the first part of the equation: they are enemies!
The same could be said for Kai’s brother, Kitt, future king of Ilya.
Yet the attraction between Paedyn and Kai is a tangible thing and they will grow closer.
What grated me the wrong way was the manipulations and betrayals. I won’t talk too much about it but it irked me!
Not that Paedyn had to hide that she had no power, because that’s what she had done for years in order to survive and that I understood, but her manipulating someone later in the story.
I am not telling more but let’s just say that I am ok to manipulate evil people but good people…it just gets under my skin.
Of course, it ends on a cliffhanger.
If I don’t think this is a revolutionary book, I still think it’s a very enjoyable one and I know I will read the sequel.
Thanks for reading!