The blurb did not lie when it said that this was a thrilling romantic fantasy novel. The intrigue in this book started right off the bat with a mystery character’s point of view. I LOVE it when authors have the idea to add in snippets of thoughts from a character that readers get to guess at the identity of throughout the book. It definitely adds to the thrill for me. The fact that the very first chapter was written from the point of view of our ‘villain’ made it so that I was instantly hooked into the story and constantly coming up with theories as to who it could be. Not once did my brain stop trying to guess.
Now, I’m not sure how much of a hard time readers who don’t know french would have understanding the phrases that were spoken, so I won’t comment much on that angle. There will more than likely be a glossary for you all to check for definitions if her other books are anything to go by! I had the advantage of being fluent in french on my side so I really got a thrill out of the fact that Renée Ahdieh decided to add sentences of our main character’s origin in there. It made this book that much more creative and intriguing for me. She really made sure the main character’s culture and language were a dominant aspect of the book, which was a refreshing change to see.
Maybe because I don’t have much else to compare it to when it comes to vampire romance books, this book reminded me quite a bit of the Twilight Saga. But like, set in the past. Because this is a historical fantasy, after all. One of the characters in particular really reminded me of Alice from Stephanie Meyer’s books! And while the plot definitely wasn’t the same (the plots are literally nothing alike), it still gave off similar thrilling vampire vibes!
Guys, if you’re expecting anything but a slow burn romance, you’ll be disappointed. Because this isn’t just an enemies to lovers sort of story, it’s also a massive slow burn. Like, you’ll literally be pleading with them to just make a move already. Pleading. And when they do, it will barely be enough to quell your feels. Renée Ahdieh will toy with you until the very last page of this book so you’re left craving the next one. Be ready for it. (Who am I kidding, you can’t prepare for this kind of tension no matter how hard you try 😉)
One of the things that I didn’t like about this book but that other people might appreciate more is that there is literally no good character. They’re all morally grey. (Except for one, maybe.) Various degrees of grey. And some of the characters lacked a bit in personality as a consequence to that. That made the book a little less than ideal for me.
I also was really confused by the ending. I feel like a lot of the things leading up to the plot twist at the end weren’t very well written, because it didn’t make sense to me? It should’ve connected and clicked in my head like “ooohhhh, how did I miss that?” But instead, it was more of “wait, what? Where were the clues?” It was like there was nothing leading up to this plot twist and it just fell apart. There was definitely build up, but it didn’t fit in with the reveal that we got, which was a real shame.