This is the second novel of the series, just published today and I love how it could be read as a standalone book. Thorne eloquently provides background whenever she references something or someone from the first book of the series, Mageborn in a manner that isn’t bothersome for those who have read it already.
The love between protagonists, Grace and the Hollow King, Bastien is nicely threaded throughout the storyline that keeps all the different happenings and consequences connected, as they try to defeat the Deep Dark and take back the devastated kingdom of Rathlynn. All the action and adventure the book contains kept me on my toes; ensuring the story didn’t lag and but also wasn’t too overwhelming.
Here’s a taste of what to expect:
Shadows came up like a wall around them, dissolving the world into some dark and terrible real of nightmares. Grace sucked in a breath and her head ached as Jehane’s magic unwound. It rolled over the attackers in a wave, a tsunami of darkness, licking up the walls behind and falling again. There were screams, sobs, running feet. In seconds they were all gone. All of them.
There is also more insight provided into how Bastien became the Hollow King and his true relationship to the original king, Lucien Larelwynn that I thought was a nice twist.
Without giving away too much, Grace at one point is forced to say goodbye to her soul mate; begging him to forget her in order to protect him and the people she loved. Let’s just say, it was heartbreaking moment that brought a lump in my throat when I read it.
Additionally, there is also an indication there is much more to come in Grace’s and Bastien’s story when they’re visited by their Lyric friend, Misha after a year of happy isolation from the rest of the world. I’m really looking forward for what happens next in The Hollow King series!
On another note, I LOVE these Hollow King covers.
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the advanced reader’s copy. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Like deep dark water, it pulls them down. The faint fire of magic within them flickers and dies. Their eyes turn black as night. They are nightborn now.
Grace Marchant has been many things: streetwise orphan, rebellious servant, and now beloved companion of Prince Bastien, heir to the throne of Larelwynn. But their sunlit happiness is not destined to last. The golden magic which brought them together in purest passion is threatened by strange and ancient forces. Innocent people are becoming nightborn – cruel, deadly, unrecognisable to their loved ones – and these two young lovers are the only ones with power enough to stop it.
In times of peace, striking a deal with their closest enemy would be unthinkable, but now their only hope is to ally with the neighbouring Valenti royal family: manipulative, cunning, and always with an eye on the Larelwynn throne. The partnership comes at a devastating price… if Grace wants to defeat the nightborn, she must watch Bastien marry a Valenti princess.
Grace knows she must make this heart-wrenching sacrifice for the good of the whole kingdom – but she also fears the magic in her veins, usually so warm and bright, is turning cold as deepest midnight. A beguiling darkness whispers to her from within. Is Grace herself becoming nightborn?
Time is running out. With Bastien promised to another, and a stony distance growing between them, will Grace find the source of the nightborn curse before every last soul is consumed by the darkness?
Combining sizzling romance, courtly intrigue, and heart-in-your-mouth action, this dark and addictive fantasy series is perfect for fans of Graceling and Emily R. King.
Jessica Thorne saw Star Wars at an impressionable age and life was never the same. She’s loved fantasy, romance and science fiction ever since and spends her time looking for adventure – in the pages of her books.
Sometimes she is Ruth Frances Long and won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2015.
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