King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair
Published: November 30, 2021
Their Union Is His Revenge.
Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day her death day. To end a years-long war, she is to marry vampire king, Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, and kill him.
But her assassination attempt is thwarted and Adrian threatens that if Isolde tries to kill him again, he will raise her as the undead. Faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde seeks other ways to defy him and survive the brutal vampire court.
Except it isn’t the court she fears most — it’s Adrian. Despite their undeniable chemistry, she wonders why the king — fierce, savage, merciless — chose her as consort.
The answer will shatter her world.
I haven’t read fantasy in a long while. Outside of rereading my favorites (all of Sarah J Maas’ works) I haven’t picked up a new fantasy in…maybe two years? So I felt like this would be good to dip my toes into a new fantasy world while also keeping the romance reads that I’ve been picking up lately. WOWEE WAS THAT THE RIGHT CHOICE.
This book has S P I C E. So if you’re not looking for pretty in depth sex scenes, pass. But this was some great mix of story and spice. I really enjoyed it. There was one point in the late 2nd half where I got a little confused with some of the plot, and didn’t realize how it would play out in the overall story, but the author did a good job of tying it all together. All in all I have to say it does remind me a bit of From Blood and Ash. So some of it didn’t feel really unique or original to me, WHICH IS FINE. I’ve read so many Beauty and The Beast or Hades and Persephone retellings (which St. Clair has also written, you should read it if you haven’t) that you’d think I’d get bored, but I find authors’ writing styles to carry so much more weight. So St. Clair did an awesome job of taking a familiar plot or storyline and really bringing it to life in a way I enjoyed just by her writing and the way she brought this to life.
I did really enjoy reading this book but am taking off a star and them some for a few things. Firstly, there’s a reincarnation trope in here, and I felt like by the middle of the book I realized what was going on. I felt like it got hinted at a little too heavily and quickly and ruined the reveal for me. Second, the “boss fight” shall we say, my goodness, I didn’t think a MC could rid a villain within about two pages worth of a 368 page book. It was so disappointing! Isolde is this character that’s portrayed as strong, intellectual, cunning, witty. And the villain seems to be this very strong, villain spanning centuries of waiting to strike at the right time, and gets taken care of in a few quick pages. I find that to be a bit unacceptable. Possibly remove a smut scene to spend more time giving a bit of a more epic battle or fight between the two.
Overall though, good job Scarlett St. Clair, I’ll be continuing reading this one, I’m interested to see where things go.
Rating: 4.25/5 Stars