Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.
The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.
Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.
“Fear and bravery are often one and the same. It either makes you a warrior or a coward. The only difference is the person it resides inside.”
“Some truths do nothing but destroy and decay what they do not obliterate. Truths do not always set one free. Only a fool who has spent their entire life being fed lies believes that.”
“When you listen to me, I think the stars will fall.”
I don’t know how I ever overlooked this book. I didn’t know it existed until the night I bought it and devoured it in one sitting. I love Armentrout, she can do no wrong and this book is no exception. This is actually her first high fantasy novel and she had been sitting on the idea for years until some of her friends, including Sarah J. Maas (another favorite of mine), convinced her to write it; and I am so happy she did. I will warn you that this is definitely an R-rated book, so perhaps not the best for younger readers.
The story started out a bit slow and I was very confused because you are just thrown into the middle of a world and know nothing about the terms or how anything works. But somewhere along the way, I literally could not put the book down and stayed up half the night reading.
My heart literally ached multiple times throughout the story which is just the type of emotional torture I live for.
The plot was a bit predictable, but I still ate it up and could not stop turning the page.
Overall, Armentrout out did herself; as always. I could not have been happier with the story and how it turned out. I cannot wait to read the next one. If you like action, romance, and adventure this will be perfect for you. Happy reading!