Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 4th 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
The princess didn't expect to fall in love--with her nemesis.
Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.
Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.
Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?
~ The book opens with Sepora fleeing her country after her father has her locked up when she refuses to use her powers for him. She’s a Forger, able to produce a metal called spectorium, which her father has been using to gain power and wage war. There is part of her that knows suicide is really the only way to make certain her talents aren’t used for evil, but I like that she’s willing to admit that she’s not willing to sacrifice her life.
~ Meanwhile, Tarik is at his father’s death bed. A mysterious illness that strikes fast is in the process of killing him, leaving Tarik to rule Theoria- the country to which Sepora is fleeing.
~ Tarik’s country seems Eygptian-like with it’s pyramids, desert, and it’s work towards bringing the dead back to life.
~ The illness that took Tarik’s father- the Quiet Plague, begins to spread and there’s nothing the healers of Theoria can come up with to combat it.
~ So not only does Sepora have to flee her country and her father, but she has to give up Nuna, her dragon (which is seriously a sad scene). She plans on living as a peasant, but I’m not quite sure how she’s going to hide her talent… since she pretty much has to expel the spectorium from her body or it makes her ill… but never mind, because she’s ambushed and taken prisoner while she’s washing off in the river. Oops.
~ It should be understood that the kingdom of Serubel and the kingdom of Theoria are not on great terms- Theoria was founded after a group of Serubelians broke with the King years and years ago. Both kingdoms are in a bad way at the moment.
~ *shudder* Parani- fish people that live in the river. I am not a fan of fish, and the idea of a humanoid fish with rows and rows of teeth is so going to give me nightmares for weeks to come.
~ Sethos buys Sepora… for Tarik’s harem. I am having flashbacks to my historical romance phase in my teens. Despite the fact that Sethos does this, I liked his character more than I thought I would.
~ The book has lots of banter between Sepora (which I swear I wrote as Sephora at least 10 times in my notes) and Tarik. It was my favorite part of the book.
~ The only drawback, at least for me, is that I felt that Sepora really expected a lot of Tarik and others without giving like in return. But she’s very human that way.
~ The world building is a bit of a mash up, but that worked for me. I hope to see more of the other countries that were mentioned.
~ Okay, technically this book isn’t even out yet, but if the second book could come out now, that would make me very happy (sorry in advance to the author, I know I’m being greedy and crazy).
Sepora- self-exiled Princess of Serubel, as the lone forger of spectorium, she’s in a very precarious position.
Tarik- finds himself as the King of Theoria much too soon after his father dies of a mysterious illness. As a Lingot, he can suss out lies. I wish I were a Lingot.
King Knosi- Sepora’s power hungry father.
Rashidi- advisor to Tarik’s father and now to Tarik.
Sethos- Tarik’s warrior younger brother.
Nuna- Sepora’s Serpan (a flying dragon). Want one.
Patra- Tarik’s giant cat. Want one.
Chut and Rolan- think Fezzik and Vizzini, they’re the ones who capture and sell Sepora.
Cy the Healer- one of the Theorian healers trying to cure the Quiet Plague. He’s only 13… I feel so old and unaccomplished in comparison. He is so Doogie Houser.
Gonya- resides in the King’s harem, and Tarik inherits her and the rest of the harem from his father. Hand Me Down Harem- I feel like that could be a working title for a book.
Honestly, any scene between Tarik and Sepora!
Stop the Clock:
Nemesis was a fast-paced read. Sepora is a strong character and I like the mix of magic and fantasy and romance and politics. Tarik was an admirable young ruler, and I’m seriously thinking of writing his name in for President of the US when it’s time to vote (I wonder if he’d pick Rashidi or Sepora as his VP? Hmmm).
Nemesis gets a Midnight Book rating of: