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 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 read some stellar reviews of this book before I started it and hoped my expectations would be met. Not a problem. They were exceeded.
As a devoted fan of flawed, morally gray characters, this book delighted me from beginning to end. Violet is a seer. But she’s also a cunning liar who’s occasionally selfish and harbors a strong dislike for most people. She’s completely unapologetic about it. Charismatic Cyrus is heir to the throne and has women practically tackling each other to garner his attention. He’s also determined not to let anyone or anything block his ascension. Violet may have saved Cyrus’s life when they were children, but their fur bristles in each other’s company. There’s a fine line between love and hate and as the description states, they have fate-twisted destinies. I adored both of these ambitious characters, and their banter (she addresses him as Princey) is witty and amusing.
This is a fairy tale retelling and wonderfully dark. With a dreaded curse hanging over the kingdom, ominous occurrences are afoot and it’s difficult to know who, or in Violet’s case what visions, to trust. The world-building is well-crafted and immersive. Plot points are unexpected. My predictions of the story’s path were completely thrown out the window more than once, and I’m thrilled when that happens. The ending might have twisted my heart, but it stays true to the characters and is perfect. Can you tell how anxious I am for the next book?
Characters like this are few and far between and are always a welcome change for me. Readers may love them or hate them, but there’s no doubt they can certainly toss in some devious plot twists. If you’re a fan of characters who exist in the gray, I can’t recommend this series enough.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.