Love is a sacrifice at the altar of power.
In the wake of the Kejari, everything Oraya once thought to be true has been destroyed. A prisoner in her own kingdom, grieving the only family she ever had, and reeling from a gutting betrayal, she no longer even knows the truth of her own blood. She’s left only with one certainty: she cannot trust anyone, least of all Raihn.
The House of Night, too, is surrounded by enemies. Raihn’s own nobles are none too eager to accept a Turned king, especially one who was once a slave. And the House of Blood digs their claws into the kingdom, threatening to tear it apart from the inside.
When Raihn offers Oraya a secret alliance, taking the deal is her only chance at reclaiming her kingdom–and gaining her vengeance against the lover who betrayed her. But to do so, she’ll need to harness a devastating ancient power, intertwined with her father’s greatest secrets.
But with enemies closing in on all sides, nothing is as it seems. As she unravels her past and faces her future, Oraya finds herself forced to choose between the bloody reality of seizing power – and the devastating love that could be her downfall.
The Ashes and the Star Cursed King begins right where the Serpent and the Wings of Night left us.
Don’t read further if you haven’t read the first book and plan to do that else you’ll be spoiled.
First I was wondering how the author would keep me interested as much as in the first book without the deadly competition at the heart of the story. I am a big fan of competitions in books so I dreaded the sequel.
But I shouldn’t have doubted Carissa Broadbent!
I was gripped by that story and read it in one day, again!
Raihn is now king but his nobles don’t want an ex slave, a turned human for king. He will not only have to fight the Hiaj for the throne with the help of the Bloodborn vampires but dissent reigns inside his own people. And there also is the matter of shaking off the Bloodborn’s hold on his house…
He might be the heir and a formidable warrior, seizing and keeping power is no picnic!
Raihn also has to convince Oraya that he is on her side. That together they can create something worthy of their dreams, protecting humans and not only vampires.
Oraya had an incredible growth .
From the human afraid to leave her rooms in the first book, always wearing leather and armor, she will now prowl with confidence castle halls and city street’s in nothing else than common clothes. If vampires were ravenous for her blood before, seeing her as prey, now with the mark of heir, they fear and admire her.
And there is even a surprise to her growth but I won’t talk about it. Just know that it was so amazing and unexpected!
She is a real badass, saving big bad Raihn ‘s “behind” more than once. Ha! Talk about a half human saving the vampire warrior.
And always protecting humans, craving the kill of predators.
We’ll also have pretty deep and complicated grief feelings in this book.
Vincent is dead and Oraya discovered that he hid so many things from her. She doesn’t know who she is anymore. Vincent loved Oraya and yet he allowed his vampires to feast on living humans presented like offerings at banket tables. He saw human life as little worth, even if he always protected Oraya.
She will feel rage against Vincent, betrayal, disgust and yet pain and love.
“Vincent had ruined me. He had saved me. He had loved me. He had stifled me. He had manipulated me. He had made me everything that I was. Everything that I could be. Even the greatest parts of my power, the parts he never wanted me to find, were his. And now here I was, poring over every wound he gave me. And no matter how much they hurt, I never wanted them to heal, because they were his. And I missed him too much to hate him the way I wanted to.”
That made for a very realistic combo, one that I could believe in.
That story is packed with action, battles, betrayals, secrets and sacrifices.
Oraya will have to reach for the stars, to take everything and go head first into battle to seize power.
“Power hurts. It requires sacrifice. Do you want to change this world, little serpent? Climb the bars until you’re so high no one can catch you. I told you that once. I know because I did it, my daughter. I know.”
And of course, let’s not forget the love story.
“Let me make you the queen that you are. Let me guard your body, your soul, your heart. Let me spend the rest of my fucking pathetic life at your mercy. If I need to die, then let me do it by your hand. Please.”
Raihn was completely dedicated to Oraya, adoring her prickly side. If you love romance, you’ll be smitten with that book.
This was a very good romantasy, filled with vampires, competition, fight for a kingdom, secrets, battles and betrayals. There is never a dull moment!
Thanks for reading!