When I first started this series like two years ago, my goal was to review them all separately, but then I stopped blogging.
Recently I inhaled books 1-4 back to back, and at this point, they’re just one giant book and I can’t tell you what explicitly happened in each one individually. So this review post is going to be spoiler free, but also it’s going to be a sort of joint review for books 1 & 2. With one exception. I do have a standalone review for An Heir Comes to Rise, book 1 since I read it before it came out, having been lucky enough to receive an eARC. So, we’ll start there.
There will be a second post with book 3 & 4. I wanted to do one big post for 1-4 but I just realized just how big that post might be, so I’m going to cut it in half.
But let’s start with book one, An Heir Comes to Rise
Book Review: An Heir Comes to Rise (An Heir Comes to Rise #1)
Title: An Heir Comes to Rise
Author: C.C. Peñaranda
Pub. Date: February 25, 2021
Pub: Lumarias Press
Genre: YA Fantasy
In the impoverished outer town of a kingdom where fae outrank humans, Faythe, an orphan with a talent for swordplay, knows the importance of keeping her head down around the fae patrol. She and best friend Jakon long for a better life, and her desire to swing her sword in combat may bring the purpose and coin she’s yearned for.
When she draws the attention of royal guard Nik, she soon learns that her mortal nature isn’t the only reason to remain out of sight. Nik is a Nightwalker, a silent assassin of the mind with the power to enter others’ dreams, and whether she trusts him or not, he’s about to awaken abilities in Faythe that shouldn’t exist in a human. Nightmarish abilities. Deadly abilities. Abilities that will teach Faythe blood really does run thicker than water…and if she doesn’t trust in higher powers soon, blood will run indeed.
For this is no battle Faythe can fight with steel. Within the city walls, suspicions are arising, and here in the outer town she has deeper bonds to protect. It seems everyone will die with a dark secret to tell, but what if one unlikely human girl was born harboring the darkest secret of all…?
In a clash of steel, a mortal body may fall. But in a clash of dreams, a powerful heir may rise.
This will be a spoiler free review. I received a copy of An Heir Comes to Rise from the author in exchange for an honest review. I inhaled this in one sitting, and I need book 2 because that ending! Well, basically all the reveals that happened towards the end – I can’t believe I have to wait to find out what’s going to happen next.
This book honestly pleasantly surprised me. My luck with indie/self pubbed books so far this year has been kind of terrible, but omfg this restored my faith! I couldn’t put it down and four hundred pages just flew by. I will say that it took me a minute to get invested – but after that. Like, who cares that I’m currently writing this review at 3:30AM and I need to be up by 7AM to get to work – not me. I need to get my opinions down now.
Fans of THRONE OF GLASS and RED QUEEN will enjoy this first installment in a gripping new fantasy series that portrays the unbreakable strength of friendship, the struggle for honor, and the ache of sacrifice.
This book had me hooked. I loved Faythe and Jakon – their relationship was so pure and wonderful. Their friendship was amazing, and I really loved how the author didn’t force them to be something more, just because of the feelings they have for each other. I love a good strong friendship between a guy and a girl.
Even though this book is comped to both Throne of Glass (which I love) and Red Queen (which I don’t love) this definitely stands on its own. Faythe didn’t feel like a alternate version of Aelin or anything. She felt like Faythe, a girl who longed for more, but was making the absolute best of what she had. She’s just wonderful and I really did love her journey in this book. But mostly her relationships.
You can read the rest of my review here.
Having reread book 1, my feelings and original review still stand and I enjoyed it as much the second time around as I did the first. Honestly I’d been feeling burnt out over high fantasy books – just about every single one I picked up, I sat back down. Until I decided to finally dive back into this series, and I’m obsessed. I’ll get more into it as I review each book – the reviews might not be very long as I really couldn’t tell you what happened in each book, but I’ll do my best.
Book Review: A Queen Comes to Power (An Heir Comes to Rise #2)
Title: A Queen Comes to Power
Author: C.C. Peñaranda
Pub. Date: August 1, 2021
Pub: Lumarias Press
Genre: YA High Fantasy Romance
Bound in service to the king within the city, Faythe grapples with morality to keep herself and her friends safe. Nik’s loyalty is tested as he struggles against his father’s cruel ways. When blood and duty divide the heart, can love conquer all?
While the kingdoms prepare to unite, Faythe is forced to remain hidden in plain sight. But suspicions quickly arise with the mysterious fae general from an ally court. Getting close to Reylan could unravel truths she longed for, but trust is hard to gain and even harder to hold. When lurking evil threatens the alliance that keeps them all safe, Faythe may find herself on the side where danger meets desire in a force that could break past the guard on her heart.
For the threat of battle isn’t the only conflict to fear. Faythe can’t forget the deal she struck in the woods to save her friend’s life–and it’s time to fulfil. Finding the temple ruin leads them to harrowing discoveries within the castle…and something far more sinister than the war that lingers. It seems everyone will receive more than they bargained for. A history that haunts, truths that destroy, and a tangled destiny they didn’t expect.
When courts collide, blood may be spilled. But when destinies collide, blood may hold power.
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to this via Audible and definitely recommend doing the audiobooks for this series. They play out like a movie in your brain, and I loved just being able to get lost in this book while at work. Fell headfirst into it and didn’t want to put it down at all.
For all the reasons I fell in love with An Heir Comes to Rise, this book just compounded upon them. Faythe is stuck in a position she never wanted, had to bargain for and it tests her every day. The people around her are struggling as much as she is, and she can’t do anything about it without raising suspicion.
The tasks she has to accomplish, the threat that hangs over her should she not succeed – everything is happening all at once and it’s all she can do to say afloat.
Then enters Reylan and let me tell you – I am such fucking trash for this man. The minute he stepped onto the page, I knew I was done for. Utterly wasted, just toss me away because these fucking fictional men that are too fucking perfect to be real ruin me every damn time. Dammit.
His interactions with Faythe are so fucking good. They’re the perfect about of sass and vulnerability and understanding. Like, anytime they were on the page together, I was sunk, in love just wanting more and more and more…and more.
I really can’t remember the last time I was this gone for two characters. This review just turned into “let me gush about these two and nothing else” and I’m not even sorry about it. They start out as these sort of rivals, but there’s this deeper understanding between them. Reylan finds her mildly amusing and a bit frustrating but he doesn’t treat her like she’s just some lowly human not worth his time. He’s definitely intrigued by her and wants to know more. Faythe on the other hand doesn’t understand his fascination and is both annoyed and curious by it – and the chemistry between them…
Off the charts.
Like I said, I’m trash for them, and C.C. Peñaranda injected crack or something into their chemistry to make it so addicting.
I guess I should mention the other major characters. I still love Jakon and Marlowe, they’re adorable together. There’s some tension in the friend group, but I kind of loved that it showed how you can still love someone, but still be upset by choices they make, even if the choices that were presented were shit.
I loved Nik and Faythe’s friendship in book one and I loved that it was expanded upon in this book, as well as Tauria being brought into the fold.
The stakes are still high, if not higher and the beginning of the end is drawing ever nearer, and everything they’ve faced and are currently facing is just getting harder and harder. Things are revealed to Faythe, losses are felt and she’s got to choose whether or not to face her past and her future, or stay where she’s comfortable.
I really enjoyed this book, and you should definitely check it out.
The first two books in this series are fantastic. An Heir Comes to Rise sets up a really strong fantastical world, where everything is at stake – the fate of people and kingdoms are on the brink of rising and falling and a dark evil is starting to creep across the land once again. Hidden truths and pasts come to light, friendships are forged and choices made, and the beginning of the end is drawing close and Faythe and her friends must do everything in their powers to stop the impending war that seems hellbent on taking over.
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