Obediently wedding the depraved rebel leader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.
“Blessed with an unrivaled voice, Kaiya dreams of a time when a song liberated enslaved humans from their orc masters. Maybe then, the imperial court would see the awkward, gangly princess as more than a singing fool.
When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan uncover a brewing rebellion, the court hopes to appease the ringleader by offering Kaiya as a bride.”
I really expected more out of this. As of writing this review, it has been almost 2 weeks since I read it and honestly, all I can remember is how much the MC and the love interest irked me.
Kaiya is a 16 year old princess in this Asian-inspired fantasy world where rebellion and insurrection are brewing on all sides. After meeting Hardeep, a prince from a neighboring kingdom, and hearing the plight of his people and how it has been perpetuated by her own nation, Kaiya sets about writing the wrongs that her country has been doing.
In two side POVs we see the story of Tian, former childhood friend the princess now exiled and turned spy, and Jie, a half elf who works alongside Tian in covert operations. These POVs made the book readable for me. Their story and backstories were interesting and fun to read.
Kaiya’s….not so much.
I really kind of hated her for the first half of the book. She meets Prince Hardeep in pretty much the first chapter and basically turns into a simpering moron.
I had actually convinced myself that he was using some sort of mind magic on her because she was just not thinking at all. Funnily enough, when he disappears for a few chapters, she actually makes (mostly) intelligent decisions and comments and I kinda liked her. Then Hardeep shows back up and she goes back to being his slave. All because he’s hot and likes music.
Beyond all that, I didn’t even think that Hardeep had much character development at all. No personality whatsoever. His function seemed to be eye candy and plot device and acting cheesy.
The story itself was okay, especially toward the end where it got a lot better. But again, characters that I could not stand ruined the whole thing for me. I love the idea of Asian-inspired fantasy and it seems like we are seeing more and more of it lately so I was excited about this one.
Like I said, the Tian and Jie chapters were great. I could read a whole book just about them and very likely love it. They are both intelligent, capable, and fully crafted characters that I would love to see more of. And if Kaiya would get away from Hardeep and show off more of the strength that was displayed when he is not around, I would read more.Unfortunately, I don’t see that being the case and so I don’t think I will be continuing the series.