Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: July 26, 2022
Format: NetGalley e-ARC, thanks Delacorte Press!
“A darkly enchanting fantasy debut about a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies—perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.
Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.
But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of the future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.
Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.”
I was drawn in by the “fans of the Cruel Prince.” I would have to agree with that statement. If you enjoyed the series by Holly Black then I think you will love this one too.
I buddy read this with Dini from @Dinipandareads and I was caught up in this story immediately. I don’t know what it is about enemies to lovers that I love?! I’m not sure if this is a problem but I’ve been loving all the enemies to lovers lately.
Violet is a Seer and she’s working closely with the king. The thing is, Cyrus will be taking over soon, and he hates her. They have mutual hate and it’s odd since they were close when they were younger. He doesn’t let her touch him, and you immediately start to wonder why! There’s this prophecy that is all doom and danger. The basis of it has to do with whom Cyrus chooses to marry. No pressure, right?!
Violet is a character who is morally grey. There are times she’s just doing things out of self-preservation. I get it, she had a tough childhood. She hasn’t had the best life either since she’s pretty much at the beck and call of the King. Sometimes prison is fancy and comfortable. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her and I loved that. She’s brutally honest and she doesn’t back down. It’s an MC that I love reading about. Even though you question some of her choices, you hope things turn out the best for her.
Cyrus seems like the type of future king that doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s a flirt constantly putting on a front. Although, as we get to know him, he is quite cunning. He’s got a lot more going on under the surface. The chemistry between Cyrus and Violet is off the charts. I loved every minute of it and there are so many intense moments. With the prophecy looming over their heads, there’s been a lot these two have gone through. They have a very complicated past and probably future. I am highly anticipating book two because I need more of these two!
The pacing of this book is quick and flows so well. I was able to read half of this book in one day! I could have kept going but I needed to let my buddy catch up. The world Chen creates is quite vivid, and she’s got some beautiful prose. With that being said, I wished there was more world-building. There are many things I would have liked more clarity on. I am hoping we will get more of that in the second book. There are a lot of things that come into play and there’s a lot of political intrigue. I did think some things overshadowed others when I needed a bit more. For example, the darkness going on with Violet and who she is talking to.
There’s one big aspect I struggled with and that’s the ending. It rushed and kind of confusing. I don’t want to spoil anything but some things didn’t make sense and wrapped up too quickly. The ending was probably the biggest downfall of this one. I think we needed a few more pages. I am hoping things are explained better in the second book.
Overall, I loved this and it was such a great story. There are many fairytale influences like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. The enemies-to-lovers is great, and I loved the characters too! I loved trying to decipher the mystery. I did have some surprises I didn’t see coming. The pacing is so fast that this is a book you will read really quickly! I can’t wait for book two! 🙂
Many thanks to Netgalley and Delacorte Press for providing an e-arc for review.