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Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.
Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.
Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.
Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whisky.
Victoria writes early in the morning, then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work.
She is represented by Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley, and Skyscape for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Lee wasn’t joking when she said that this book was going to be darker than the first. Legit, she wrote that on her review on Goodreads here. A common theme in this novel surrounds abuse, its effects on its victims, manipulation from the abusers. It can get pretty dark and triggering, so please be aware of that before getting into this novel, even if you read The Fever King and didn’t feel that same vibe.
So while speaking on that, I was super hurt while reading this novel, and honestly I really had to compartmentalize certain things while reading this so that it didn’t have a super negative reaction on me. I knew a little bit of what I was looking forward to, but I don’t think I was expecting to feel that emotional while reading this one. Even though it’s a fantasy and usually I can feel less of a connection to fantasy worlds, it still hurts.
I also like that Lee made this into a duology – apparently duologies are becoming way more popular lately when trilogies or sagas were the thing back then – and that we get a complete story after this is all said and done. I feel like there could be other stories involved in this world, and that would be cool to see and experience, but I like that she didn’t drag on the story just have a longer series, I guess. Either way though, I think that Lee is a great writer and I look forward to reading more of her books.
Yes I forgot to add the album art for this one too whatever. I keep forgetting, okay?! Don’t hate me.