My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: Divine Rivals (#1)
Author: Rebecca Ross
Format: eBook (NetGalley)
Publication Date: 4/4/23
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Categories: Historical Fantasy, War, Gods, Romance, Young Adult, Grief
Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
Thank you to Wednesday Books for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!
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.
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. Shadow and Bone meets Lore in this epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.
Content Warning: violence, death, alcoholism, war, wounds, grief
I requested this book because it said Rebecca Ross wrote it and I was not disappointed. Here is what I thought:
+ I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this story and I was so surprised at what I got. This is a historical fantasy, set in a time similar to the 1950’s – the main characters are reporters who use typewriters to write their article for the newspaper. The fascinating thing in this story is the war wasn’t started by humans that we know of, but gods. And the gods have used humans to fight their war. We get a bit of the lore between the gods Dacre and Enva and why they started fighting. There is even magic in this world, magic typewriters, enchanted houses, which I thought was really fun.
+ Because this is basically a war drama – there is sweeping rivals to lovers romance, there is loved ones missing on the front lines, the horrors of war, the strength of love and character and I experienced so many emotions in this one book alone. I think I teared up three times. And I wasn’t expecting this book to do that to me.
+ The romance is a big part of this story and I love it. It’s the type of romance I would expect in a war drama actually and fits so beautifully. I’m a sucker for written letters (I am old enough to have done this back in my day lol), two people who love the written word – falling for one another because of the words they are writing to one another. It grabbed the romantic in me by the heart and I was rooting for their love from beginning to end!
+ There is more to the story especially when it comes to Iris trying to find her brother. My heart felt for both Iris and Roman. Mostly Iris because she was so all alone in the world. But what a tough young lady to keep on going even when it seems she has nothing left. She’s determined to find her brother and know if he was dead or alive. And Roman for overcoming an accident in his past that has ruined his family forever. I commend both of them for trying to love again even when they’ve both been so hurt.
~ There is a cliffhanger at the end and this book is a series. The ending broke my heart for Iris and her crew at the end of this book.
~ I do want more back story about the Gods because other Gods are mentioned besides Dacre and Enva, but I’m hoping that information comes in book two.
Tropes: magical correspondence, rival journalists
Why you should read it:
- fan of Rebecca Ross
- it’s got a little bit of everything: war, drama, gods, romance
- I love Iris and Roman
Why you might not want to read it:
- some readers might the story lacking in world-building especially in the mythology department but I’m hoping there is more of it in book two – the Dacre/Enva story kind of reminds me of Hades and Persephone but different
Where does Rebecca Ross come up with these stories? She is becoming my new must-read author only because she tries different things, different time periods, different settings and I always enjoy what she creates. I went with 5 stars for this book because the way this story took me for a ride, an emotional one at that, it even though it made me cry. I was caught up in the heartbreak for Iris, the horrors of war and the sweeping love story between Iris and Roman. I am so excited for book two, I’m just sad I have to wait awhile for it.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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