Books,  Reviews

Divine Rivals

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When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.

After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.

To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish?into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.

Shadow and Bone meets Lore in this epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.

Synopsis source: Goodreads


Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, New Adult
HB&W Rating: 4
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Is it any surprise that I enjoyed this book when I recently finished and loved one of the author’s previous duologies, The Elements of Cadence? Confession: I didn’t realize this was by the same author until after the fact. I picked it up on KindleUnlimited because I had heard good things about it and it sounded interesting. I kept thinking the author sounded familiar, but I didn’t look her up until after I finished it.

I really enjoyed this book, and while I had some problems with it, that enjoyment merited a 4-star rating regardless. I love the idea of magical pen pals. Throw in a good, old-fashioned enemies-to-lovers romance, a historical setting, and warring gods, and I’m sold!

The story is a bit of a slow-burn, but even so, the pacing was a bit too slow in places. I would have also liked to see the mythology developed a bit more, as it would have gone more toward the world building, which was a bit underdone. Hopefully she’ll make up for it in the next book, but here she spent more time driving the plot and romance. Still, the setting was easy enough to imagine and the main characters were very well-developed.

I liked the representation throughout the book of women on the front lines and in positions of authority in the military, even in what feels like an otherwise Great War time setting (yes, I saw the date that it was actually set in in the late 1800s but this is a fantasy novel after all). Still, some of the secondary characters were a bit less developed and a little flat, like Attie.

It’s hard not to compare this book to The Elements of Cadence, but I confess I liked this one slightly less. Maybe it’s because I listened to the audiobook of the earlier duology and read an ebook version of this one.

My issues with it aside, it was a very lovely read with some beautiful writing. I can’t wait to see how the author wraps up Iris and Roman’s story.

Until next time,

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