The Final Strife
In an empire where people's lives and opportunities are dictated by the colour of their blood, Sylah was meant to bring the ruling class to its knees. A red-blooded Ember brought up by blue-blooded Dusters, she was to enter the Aktibar (a set of trials used to determine the next rulers of the empire) and win. But when her adopted family are brutally slaughtered, Sylah is left adrift and without purpose. When a ghost from her past reappears on the eve of the Aktibar, Sylah is thrown abruptly back into a world of secrets and rebellion. But is she really the right person to win? Or is the rebellion a smokescreen for the problems facing the empire?
The Final Strife is an epic opening fantasy story in what is set to be an immersive and action-packed series. It has superb world building, a tight plot and really great character development. Everything about this book is so, so good. And the final twist at the end? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out just how brilliant it is.
This Vicious Grace
Alessa is the Finestra, chosen to protect her people from a swarm of bloodthirsty demons who descend upon her world at regular intervals. But to do this, she needs a partner whose magic she can amplify - unfortunately for Alessa (and the people relying on her for their survival), everyone she touches dies.
When the people of Saverio start to doubt whether Alessa truly is the chosen one who can save them all, she hires Dante to protect her. But, Dante has a secret of his own, which might put Alessa and Saverio in even greater danger.
This Vicious Grace is a high-stakes, YA fantasy with a really cool concept. The world building was brilliant and it was a fast-paced novel that I couldn't put down. There were some great side characters too, helping (or hindering) Alessa in her attempt to save her people - a calling she never asked for or wanted. I also loved the romance elements and cannot wait for book two!