Review: The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten

Title: The Foxglove King

Author: Hannah Whitten

Publisher: Orbit Books

Published: March 7, 2023

Pages: 400

Format: ARC via Orbit Books, thank you!

Goodreads Blurb

In this lush, romantic new epic fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Whitten, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.

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.”

My Review

I was so excited to read this book because the cover is gorgeous! haha! I will always pick books by their covers, and I don’t deny that. Regardless, it was a great pick. I really enjoyed this fantasy!

One of the early feelings I had was that there would be a love triangle. There are definitely aspects of that going on but the actual romance in this book is not the main focus. It’s so low key that I didn’t even mind it. Although, I hope we don’t end up with a love triangle in the next book. It’s my least favorite trope!

There’s a lot going on here. We have a lot of magical elements, gods, revenants, necromancers, royalty, and drug runners. Sometimes I think there was a little too much going on and some of the world-building was lost to me. There’s a lot of interesting aspects but I wish there were more details and explanations for some things. There’s a lot of talk about the gods and I wanted more of that. I think that’s something that could be explored in book two.

Lore, Bastien, and Gabe are all such interesting characters. They have all grown up so differently and are in such varied places in life. It was so fun to see these three working together. I think there’s a lot of things that were hinted at and we didn’t get clarity. I’m hoping for that to come out in book two! I feel bad for all three of them. They all got dealt some bad hands and suffered in their own ways.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one! There are some cool fantastical elements that I cannot wait to see explored further. I also can’t wait to see what happens to these characters that I fell in love with. The pacing was a little off at the beginning, but it picked up in the end and I had a hard time putting it down. I’m looking forward to book two!

Many thanks to Orbit for an ARC to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

14 thoughts on “Review: The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten

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