I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley but all opinions provided are my own.
She’s a charmer of beasts who has a bounty on her head. He’s the assassin in charge of killing her.
That sounds like the perfect premise of a fantasy romance to me.
Smart and wildly inventive, Maxym M. Martineau's Kingdom of Exiles had me captivated from the first page. It’s the kind of book I can really sink my teeth into: a morally complex, live-life-on-the-edge-of-danger heroine and hero (who are determined to kill and/or use the other for much of the book!)*, a diverse round of secondary characters, and a true dilemma facing them all that I have faith they’ll overcome, even if I don’t see how.
Even better are the closing pages, where Martineau ties up things just enough to leave me satisfied, but also leaves enough undone to hint at the craziness to come. Because when the final paragraph is over, there are still secrets between the characters—secrets each narrator has hinted at to the reader—and secrets which are guaranteed to wreak absolute havoc in a future book.
Kingdom of Exiles is enemies to lovers done splendidly. Martineau took me on a gripping adventure that left me wanting more: more of her originality, drama, romance. She has a lot to bring to the genre—she already has this very impressive addition—and the exciting news is that I think she’s just getting started.
*Seriously, I had big reservations about some of the things the hero and heroine were doing but they show major growth throughout the book.
TNW Arbitrary Rating: 4.25 stars. (See how useless my rating scale is?)
Q: What fantasy romance read do you recommend to everyone? One of mine is Naomi Novik's Uprooted.
Give me that HEA, please.
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