- Page Count: 314
- Publisher: Razorbill
- Release Date: February 7, 2017
- My Rating: 4 stars
CROWN PRINCESS RHIANNON TA’AN WANTS VENGEANCE.
The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEEhas spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.
ALYOSHA is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.
Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.
The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.
I’m usually not that into sci-fi, but had so much fun with this one!! Maybe because it still felt like YA fantasy… but in space. The worldbuilding was super interesting & original (like how most people store their memories in cubes that the government can potentially overwrite), and I loved the characters.
The story’s split between the main characters of Rhee and Aly. Rhee’s supposed to be empress and has a rude awakening at the start as she sees just how “blind and willful” she’s been. If her bloodline dies out then so does a treaty that’s stopping war.
Aly and Vin have spent the past 16 months on a spaceship as the stars of a reality show. Vin is a golden boy from high society, while Aly is a refugee with a super emotional backstory.
There’s so much wonderful political commentary and discussion of relevant social issues woven throughout the plot that I wanted to hug the book so many times. It’s just done so well. Aly’s constantly aware that he’s representing all Wraetans and has to check his behavior and think twice before doing what someone like Vin can just freely do (like argue). Aly faces a lot of prejudice and asks why only the people with darker skin are constantly being compared with food.
It’s a pretty fast read, but there’s a ton that happens and it never got boring! I kind of wish there had been more in this story, but I guess now the sequels are set up perfectly. So yeah — the worldbuilding was really solid, the characters were well developed, the writing was strong, and this series seems like it’s going to be fun.
I think it also helped that I read this right after Starfall — I was definitely comparing them even though I did try not to…