A review by Vanessa.
I would like to thank the Author Kaitlyn Davis and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to review this book.
Queen Deirdre asserts a stranglehold on the ruins of the major metropolitan city after an earthquake merges her realm with the modern town of New York. Life has never been the same for anyone within her reach. Even a decade later they don’t feel, they don’t live life in any other way than what the Ice Queen allows. One might question whether they really live at all. But that is of little consequence to the Queen, whose only real concern is her legacy. She wants her son back and she knows exactly who to send to fetch him. Jade is the only girl ever allowed into the Black Heart Guard, the Queen’s elite force that guards the wall surrounding her city. Jade is strong, determined, driven; she does not question, she does not back down from a fight. So when she sprints into the city’s ruins to investigate an explosion, and comes face-to-face with the Queen’s son Prince Asher, she knows she must bring him to her Queen. And when he saves her life, she can only repay him by letting him go… temporarily.
After Jade finds out the Queen will trust her with a mission to pretend to be captured, and bring back the wayward Prince, she is more determined than ever because the Queen has promised her freedom if she succeeds. But Jade isn’t ready for the experiences she encounters at the hands of the warm and charming prince. Outside of the Queen’s ultimate curse she feels anger and frustration, pleasure and curiosity, warmth and comfort. When she learns of Prince Asher’s plans to help the rebels, she must decide. Will she hold on to the feelings she has learned how to embrace and break the Queen’s curse for good, or betray her newly discovered heart in an effort to gain her freedom?
From the very first page, this book manages the tricky task of being both delightfully engaging and convincingly spiritless. Following Jade’s story is an interesting contradiction in that way. Even as a young girl her strength and bravery is notable, and those attributes are not lost to her as she grows up into a young woman, and an engaging character. However, in a world where feelings are controlled by the Queen’s curse, her life seems so desolate. The world in which she resides is a gray dreary experience that can drag the reader into its utter listlessness. This is the mark of a great story, that it can make you feel the paralyzing cold and hopelessness that grips Jade’s heart, and still make you feel hope that Jade is special, that somehow she can prevail in a way that no one else ever has.
Prince Asher’s character is an intriguing representation of how warmth, innocence, curiosity, and a desire for love can still blossom in the midst of desolation and apathy. When he and Jade meet, the resulting shift in emotion will elicit a cheer. The contradiction between Queen Deirdre’s overwhelming apathy for all things and all people, and Prince Asher’s loving, charming, caring attitude is fascinating. As the backdrop for Jade’s ultimate struggle, the dichotomy between the Prince and the Queen is an excellent motivation for the polarizing effect of Jade’s feelings. Aside from a few strange word choices, the writing is straightforward and action packed in a way that any reader can appreciate. And the ending is another delightful twist that will definitely leave the reader stewing in anticipation for the second book in the series.
My rating: 4.5 /5 stars.
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