My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: The Foxglove King (The Nightshade Crown, #1)
Author: Hannah Whitten
Format: ebook (borrowed)
Publication Date: 3/7/23
Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Magic, Kingdom Politics, LGBT+, Romance
In this lush, romantic new epic fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Whitten, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.
When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.
Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, but King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.
Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne’er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.
But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.
Content Warning: violence
I liked this author’s previous series but didn’t love it. When I heard about this new book I was excited to read it because the synopsis sounded intriguing. Here is what I thought:
+ I love all the political intrigue in this story. The king thinks his son is betraying their kingdom by working with the enemy so they plant a spy, Lore, to find out his secrets. What she finds out is more than what she was led to believe. I enjoyed following Lore and this story to see where it would go, and I can say it wasn’t disappointing.
+ I enjoyed the world building and magic system. Lore can control Mortem – which is basically death. She’s basically a necromancer but that’s the least of her problems. There is a power play happening in court between the King, and the religious body the Presque Mort, and Lore is being played around like a puppet.
+ I was definitely invested in the characters, especially Lore, Gabe, Bastian and Alie. I was not disappointed with how everything unraveled and it makes me eager to read book two.
~ I can’t really call this a romance which was my biggest issue with the book. I wanted all the romantasy I got in her previous series! I was waiting and waiting for it and only got 2 kisses when this is definitely the type of story that calls for more heat. Gabe is basically a monk and he is attracted to Lore – he’s fighting tooth and nail against it, which means, I wanted a little more stolen kisses between them. Also…is this a love triangle? I’m not sure yet…because I don’t feel like Bastian comes off as a love interest. I feel like he and Lore are very good friends instead. So I don’t know but really, these characters are 23+ and I admit I wanted more action between Lore and Gabe at least! There was some angst between them though.
~ The story moved slowly but honestly I am so surprised I read this in two days. Usually a slow moving plot will lost my attention but I think the characters kept me in the story.
~ Lore…I liked her but I also expected more from her being a spy with all these powers? Okay she doesn’t know much about it but she came off confident in the first pages but when she has to spy on the prince – it’s not easy for her and she blows her cover right away. The prince is smart and calculating and I kind of wanted her to match up against him but I guess they were matched in a different way.
Why you should read it:
- you like kingdom politics
- it’s not heavy on the romance
- I enjoyed getting to know the characters
Why you might not want to read it:
- a love triangle brewing? To be honest, I wanted more romance
I like this series much more than the previous one already! It held my attention even though some parts were slow because I was invested in the characters. If you don’t like love triangles, you won’t like this one even though it’s not clear where Lore’s attentions will land. I liked the ending of this book and can’t wait to see what happens in book two!
For the Throne by. Hannah F. Whitten | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫