A River of Royal Blood is the debut novel of Amanda Joy, and it is one heck of a novel. This is the first in a new series of the same name, and it already looks like it will be a journey worth watching.
It’s a dark fantasy series and is perfect for Children of Blood and Bone fans. Having read both books, I can say that the comparison is accurate. However, A River of Royal Blood is, without a doubt, a distinct entity.
Set in a world where magick is commonplace, Eva has to embrace her magick – or die. For you see, Eva is the princess of her kingdom, and all princesses are expected to fight their sisters to the death for the honor of the throne.
A River of Royal Blood was an intense read – as fans could have expected and hoped for. The world Amanda Joy describes in these pages is lush and torn apart by war and prejudices. Honestly, it’s a world that I found myself desperate to see more of.
Eva was an interesting character. Her magick is of blood and bone. And yes, that is precisely what it sounds like. Naturally, Eva is terrified of her magick; an issue she is forced to work through throughout this novel. It’s probably worth mentioning that her magick did result in a few graphic scenes here and there. But that was probably fairly evident, given its nature of it.
As for the plot, it was deceptively complicated. There were many pieces in motion throughout the novel, some sitting in plain sight while others had to be sussed out. It was fascinating seeing how all of these parts unfolded. And I get the impression that the next novel will take these developing plots even further.
A River of Royal Blood was a fast-paced novel. Every chapter brought about new changes and events. So much so that it felt like Eva was constantly rushing around and struggling to keep up. And since that wasn’t far from the truth, it fits the tone nicely.
I honestly would have loved a chance to see more of the Queendom of Myre and the residents within it. There is much room for potential regarding the politics of the different species residing in this country. And it’s something that Joy begins to tap into throughout this novel. I hope we’ll see even more of that in the next novel.
The conclusion to this novel was not the one I expected, but in many ways, it seemed to fit the story that Joy had been building this whole time. It certainly fits Eva’s character. Though as with any action such as this, you just know there will be consequences down the line.
A River of Royal Blood was a fast and fascinating read. The world was lush and intriguing, making use of bloody and brutal politics combined with characters full to the brim of magic. And I can’t wait to see where this series goes in the long run.
It was interesting getting a chance to see a character so afraid of their magic and watching them overcome their own personal biases about it. I know this has been done before, but I don’t think any other novels I’ve read have ever carried this particular tone. And thus, it was a memorable read – for many reasons.
This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.
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