Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
Series: Fallen Empire #1
Published by Ace on September 25, 2018
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.
But this year is different.
Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.
To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more
I wanted to read Phoenix Unbound from the first I heard about it. The fantasy romance genre made me surprised by how grim dark it was. It felt much more heavy on fantasy with little focus on the romance. I read fantasy so this didn’t bother me, especially with the well-developed characters and the rich crafting of this world.
Gilene and Azarion are strong individuals with courage to do their duties, work hard to survive, doing what they can to better their futures while protecting those they love. While neither likes their situation, they bear it honorably. Their adventures are exciting and suspenseful. They take some risks to improve their own lives and those of many others.
Because the romance has only a small start, I wonder about how this series will continue. Specifically, if they will continue as main characters with their efforts further protecting and building the world. Or will a new couple take the next installment? My impression is it will be different couples since on Grace Draven’s website it talks about the power of three women and the men devoted to them. Either way, I am enthusiastic about continuing in this Fallen Empire series world.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2018 New Release Challenge
- COYER BSBB