Summary: Rachelle is a bloodbound and she must serve the king or be hunted. Being a bloodbound means she is faster and stronger than humans, but not quite as strong as a forestborn. Rachelle was apprenticed to her aunt as a woodwife, people who weave charms of protection against the Great Forest. Upon becoming a bloodbound, Rachelle is now the very thing she had been fighting. When the King assigns her to guard his son Armand, Rachelle is loath to do so, until it seems like he can help her find Joyeuse, the sword that will kill the Devourer and save their world.
There is a lot going on in this book, between the main character trying to save the world, the world-building and the back story of Tyr & Zisa. The plot is quite complex with all that is happening, but it flows smoothly. I felt like the transition between the backstory and Rachelle’s progression mirrored each other nicely. As Rachelle would learn more, we would also find out more about Zisa & Tyr and how they defeated the Devourer.
I really enjoyed Rachelle, she is dedicated to her task and will not give up no matter what. She is going to save the world from the Devourer, even if it means she must die. I liked her sass and how she was so strong, we need more characters like her. She is also a bit cruel, but I think it is fair for what she has gone through. Rachelle reminds me a lot of Nesta Archeron from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
The dynamic between her and Armand was wonderful. They can tease and fling insults, but they still truly care for each other and are able to understand each other. I thought the way they fell in love was a little too fast, but given that they are likely going to die in months, I guess it puts pressure on all relationships. I liked them together and I felt like they were good for each other.
This book was supposed to have a love triangle with Rachelle and Erec, but I never felt like she loved him romantically. Yes he helped her stay alive with his challenges and jabs, but he was never nice or kind to her. He was a douche throughout the book and I hated him. I think Rachelle used him to keep herself alive and he was more of “I need closeness” rather than real emotional connection.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I didn’t love it, but I did like it. There are definitely confusing parts, so take it slow if you read this, but I would recommend this book to people who like dark fantasy and fairytale retellings.