I received this as an ARC ebook in exchange for an honest review.
This books follows Enya who is the leader of the Grims, a group of rebels who run the streets of Arden . After complications with the police due to a death sentence on her by the tyrannical king, Enya and her second in command flee they encounter three princes that were assumed dead for many years,. She agrees to help them on a quest to find a magical item, the Sword of Bas, that their stepmom, the queen seeks.
When I read the original synopsis of this book I was really looking forward to receiving and reading it and I wasn’t disappointed. This book is set in a fantasy world and it features a quest, princes, monsters and a group of outlaws which already made the book sound pretty good.
What I liked:
I thought the writing flowed quite well and the action never seemed to be rushed or drag on for too long and the for a debut novel I think Ashley done very well. The ending made me want to read the next book and find out what happens and I think this book is a very strong starting point for the rest of the series.
I liked Enya as a character, I thought she was a strong, fierce and independent character as well as a strong leader. Neither Enya, her second in command, Carson and the Princes seemed to posses no magic despite it being present in other characters in the Grims. I enjoyed the relationship between Enya and Carson it was obvious that they had been friends for a long time and fully trusted each other.
Why I gave it 3 stars:
Even though I liked the characters especially Enya I did not warm to them and felt that even though she came across as a strong person I think in some aspects she along with other characters were a little undeveloped and inconsistent. Her attitude and behaviour seemed to sometimes change from paragraph to paragraph which did get a little confusing at times. I think the Crimson Witch was an underused character and I am hoping she is developed more in the future books.
The romance aspect of the booked was hinted upon but it was nearly non-existent, which could have been built on a little more or left out of the book entirely. There were moments were it seemed romance aspect was being set up but then nothing happened. Beacon, the youngest prince had a moment of flirting with guys which I think could have been executed better as it seemed to happen quite quickly with not the best responses from the other characters. I think Beacons sexuality is of no consequence and even though the normalisation of same-sex relationships is important it felt like this was just thrown in for diversity.
The world was also underdeveloped, with the setting not being fully explored or described in detail , so it was hard to imagine the scene. The places used in the books were mostly just named, dropped into the plot and left there for the reader to figure out themselves. I also didn’t fully understand the use of the fae courts as they were mentioned a few times but not fully used or explained, these probably could have been left out without affecting the story.
Overall I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to Ashley’s future books.