About the Author: Kristen Martin is the International Amazon Bestselling Indie Author of THE ALPHA DRIVE trilogy and SHADOW CROWN series. She is also a writing coach, a YouTuber, a podcaster, and an entrepreneur. Living in Southeast Texas, she loves all things young adult, science fiction, and fantasy.
Kristen prides herself on helping aspiring authors reach their dreams of publication through her coaching program, Valiance. She loves connecting with other writers and readers, so be sure to reach out!
Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
For most people, the act of killing is intangible. Unfathomable.
But not for seventeen-year-old Arden Eliri.
Having been involved in Cruex assassination attempts as a mere child, killing is a natural disposition for her. Growing up without parents, in a castle ruled by an iron-fisted king, is the furthest thing from a fairy tale, as is being forced into the Cruex, the king s group of hand-selected assassins. But with each passing year, she comes to enjoy the act of killing more and more.
Kill or be killed she chooses the former.
A decade ago, King Darius Tymond banished The Caldari those who practice illusié, or old magick from Trendalath Kingdom, ensuring that no Caldari will ever step foot in his kingdom again. But Arden discovers otherwise after a dual-assigned mission goes horribly awry. Even more startling, she discovers that she may have more in common with the Caldari than she's been led to believe.
Arden wants to trust that King Tymond's intentions are pure, but as their pasts collide in unexpected ways, the quicker she realizes the consequences and dangers of his reign. But Arden is also hiding something something that threatens her very existence and she'll have to face her inner darkness and conquer it before it destroys her . . . and the kingdom she's come to call her home.
I'm already a fan of Kristen Martin and religiously watch her YouTube channel and listen to her podcast. I already own her other three books, but they're buried in my ever increasing TBR pile. When she announced that she was releasing another series, I decided to read this book first.
I enjoyed reading this book. Arden is a relatable character and I'm eager to see where Kristen takes her next. Honestly, this book was a great introduction and setup for the rest of the books in this series. It introduced the major characters, gave some backstory, and set the tone for the rest of the series. Also, can we talk about the cover?! It's gorgeous and upped the excitement factor for me.
Arden's chapters are told in first person while the other chapters are told in third. This was a little jarring as I started to read, but I was used to it by the end of the book. I'm eagerly anticipating the rest of the books in this series where hopefully some of these questions that popped up for me throughout the book can be answered.
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