My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.
Nyx has spent her entire life preparing herself to die. As the leader of the Resugandi, a group dedicated to bringing down the misnamed Gentle Lord who reigns over Arcadia, her father should’ve known better than to try to make a deal with the devil when his wife couldn’t bear children. But desperate people grasp at straws, and the twin daughters were born – bringing abut the death of their mother. As usual, the Gentle Lord’s bargains are never quite what the petitioner was hoping for.
The price of the children was that one would have to become the Gentle Lord’s wife in time, and Nyx was chosen for that honor. All her life she is trained to beguile him, then assassinate him to free their land, avenge her mother, and redeem her father’s ill-advised bargain. But the Gentle Lord’s death comes at a price, for the only way to bring him down is to destroy the four Hermetic hearts hidden inside his castle, bringing down the entire structure on top of him… and herself.
Leaving behind her distant father and a sister she’s always tried to convince herself she loves even though she was chosen to live, Nyx comes to the Gentle Lord on their wedding night to find him not at all what she’d expected. Clever but not unkind, Ignifex captures Nyx’s attention in a way she never thought possible. But so does his shadow, a being in itself named Shade, who might be the answer to how Nyx can save Arcadia. But saving Arcadia will mean killing her husband, who she has accidentally fallen in love with.
There’s an ARC giveaway right now for CRUEL BEAUTY, if this piques your interest!