Rating: 3/5 stars
Category: Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Adult
Publisher: Little brown books group
Publication date: 9th March 2023
Trigger: Death, Corpse
Hello Readers, welcome back to my blog.
When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.
Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, but King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.
Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne’er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.
But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.
Lore is a death channelling spy and orphan. She is betrayed by her employer/foster mothers to the crown and thrust into the royal court which is more cutthroat than the slums she is coming from. She is tasked with getting close to the prince by the king and to aid her is a guy with a death story of his own. Gabe was only 10 years old when his father betrayed the crown and died at the hands of the kingdom he betrayed his king for. Gabe also came away from the incident with one less eye and shame on his family name, which he has been attempting to clean by staying away from court and being a monk. Now his mission has been revised, he is to assist Lore in getting closer and spying on the prince.
I gave 3 out of 5 stars. Nothing made sense initially. Not the 2 villages filled with dead people, not the channelling of death magician a way that has never been heard of, not the challenge of religious text that is conflicting from translation to translation and certainly not Gabe’s blind devotion to a man that might have caged him most of his life. And the end of the story doesn’t make sense either. I am so confused. I loved Lore as a character, she could recognise that things in her life were not as it should be but she made the most of it, and not in a way that meant she had rose coloured glasses on but in a mature and sensible way. There is definitely another book, as this is the first book in the Nightshade crown trilogy. There is so much to explore and explain in the coming book and I can’t wait to make sense of it all.
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