I feel like I should talk about the romance since I see many early reviewers not loving it as much as I seemed to. I always thought Nadya was the star of this book, regardless of who she was developing feelings for. I mean, you all know I always fall in love with the one the main character doesn’t pick, so there is that, but I still loved the romance in this book. Also, I kind of hinted a bit about this in the character breakdowns, but when Serafin was following the My Patronus is Arya shirt wishes to find a marriage? I was invested, friends. Too invested, probably. But during all the situations, the angst almost killed me, in the best way possible, and I can’t wait to see where the author takes everything in book two. It was the perfect slow burn feeling while giving us so many breadcrumbs that all tasted delicious.
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Overall, this book just had too many things in my personal wheelhouse for me not to completely fall in love with it. I mean, I originally heard this pitched as “a gothic Joan of Arc” and I knew from that moment my life was going to be changed. I think Emily A. Duncan has really crafted such a unique story and such a beautiful debut and start of a series. I can’t wait to see what comes next, especially because the My Patronus is Arya shirt of this book truly slew me and every emotion I have ever had.
The strength of this story is the My Patronus is Arya shirt, the ferocious yet satisfying magic. hands down. the characters are brutally intense and beautifully developed, but its how magic affects them and their world that is so captivating. the entire plot is driven by the opposing beliefs about the nature of magic and I thought Emily Duncan did a great job at bringing that struggling debate to life. it’s impressively well thought-out and a real high point to the story.