Thank you to Hodderscape and Netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.
Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.
Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?
This book had me hooked from the beginning and I flew through the book. I really enjoyed the story and the discussions around love and that there are different types of love and being lonely. I also liked the discussions around people in power and how the poorer people are not given the same protections.
Alessa was an interesting character though she could get annoying at times especially at the risks she took but you know what if I was under the pressure she was under I may become a little reckless too. I really did sympathise with her though as she is unable to touch anyone without killing them so she has become isolated and lonely and fed the fantasy that once she finds her true partner then she will have everything she desires. But unfortunately for her she keeps killing her partners and this makes her struggle with her own self worth and whether the world would be better off without her.
Once she meets the mysterious Dante though, she starts to believe in herself more and learns that she is more capable than she gives herself credit for and he helps her to see a world outside of her gilded cage. I really liked Dante and how he showed Alessa that the world she has been taught to believe in may not be as just and fair as she thinks. He makes her question things and see that just because something has been done a specific way it doesn’t mean that is the only way.
I also really enjoyed the side characters and hope we get to see more of them in the sequel and how they initially did not want to be near Alessa but by the end they learnt to trust her and she learnt to trust them and they became a unit. It was so great to see Alessa build relationships that are not romantic because she had been starved of friendship too which she needed and found in them.
The second half of the book had some intense moments and some revelations that I did not see coming but I loved as it added more mystery to the world and history that we have been told. I hope we get to explore this more in the sequel.
I did feel the ending was a little rushed, I was hoping to see more of the battle that has been built up throughout the book and some of the aftermath especially regarding Dante and what happens to him. I am especially looking forward to seeing more of him and his arc in the sequel.