I recently received Nemesis in the November Fairyloot box. It is a fantastical book set in an ancient Egyptian- like world.
The official description of Nemesis is: “Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.
Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.
Sepora’s gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?”
This book is great if you loved ‘An Ember in the Ashes’ or ‘Rebel of the Sands’ it is a great book to get you out of a reading slump as well!
This book starts of with Sepora, the main character along with her Serpen, Nuna. She has left the life of princess Magar Sepora of Serubel and has just became Sepora. There is mentions of the fact that her father, the king had beaten her. Her sole purpose whilst being a princess was to forge Spectorium. A beautiful substance that cools purple. It is traded between different kingdoms for various purposes. Her mother helps her escape and we first meet Sepora straight after she has escaped and she is flying over the river Nefari. Then she has to leave Nuna, which literally left me heartbroken- even though she has only been in the story for a matter of pages.
Sepora is eventually captured by two men called Rolan and Chet who decide they are going to sell or trade for her once they reach Anyar which is in Theoria. Whilst in their captivity, they capture a Parani. Crazy stuff goes down and Sepora manages to free the Parani, and by doing this, leaves her with a cross on her from the Parani…
She eventually gets sold into the Falcon King’s harem as a gift from the King’s brother, Sethos. As this book is dual perspective, we have the king himself, Tarik.
Tarik is forced to take to the throne at a young age after his father dies of a new incurable plague. All of the dead are preserved in pyramids made of Spectorium, in hope that one day they will live again. Which I personally am uncomfortable with, I just find it a weird concept but it is great for building the differences between Serubel and Theoria.
I’m not going to go into plot details, I just though I should start my review with the start of the book!
Character wise, I loved Tarik’s character. He had so much things to deal with and yet he still balanced it all with the distraction of Sepora. I also loved that he was a lingot and that feature really gave an extra layer of character. I love his enthusiasm for his kingdom and how he leaves the king position behind occasionally to become Tarik to help many of the less fortunate.
Sepora however, I am torn to if I really like her or have neutral feeling towards the character. She was defiantly admirable and a strong lead in the novel. She has been through many hardships, but I think after she found out that Theoria could be saved with just a small amount of Spectorium, she could have ‘relieved herself’ of her power in a certain area everyday and ‘accidentally’ found a lot of Spectorium. I also got confused quite a lot as Sepora is getting rid of the Spectorium into drains from sinks and other facilities that lead to the river Nefari. Surely it should all be in the river. I’m sure someone must have found the supply in the time that she had been staying in Theoria. Back to Sepora, her personality is really fun and her fearlessness is something to admire!
Sethos’ character is one I really dislike and he is morally wrong in most cases. If this book follows some sort of historical facts, then I would understand as Egyptian morals weren’t really ones to follow, you know the whole incest thing and young marriages. I hope that Sethos’ character is a little more developed in the next book as he has so much potential as a villain or as a better character.
This book did lack a little bit of action in places, yet it kept me hooked. The ending rattled me quite a bit- I was not expecting that at all! The fact that Tarik’s actions started to change in the end was really effective in my opinion. It showed him as a king making the better decision for the kingdom in the long run and his desperation is shown through this. The fact that he even ordered Sethos to marry the princess Tulle left me surprised.
The last line left so many questions for me and I don’t fully understand it’s meaning,
“Sepora, would you walk away?” he demands.
And a lie.
It kind of reminds me of the ending of Lady Midnight in which Mark says “Why lie?”. There is a lot of mystery in that for me.
As for the overall romance in the book, I felt like it was beautifully integrated into the story. It wasn’t too fast paced or non-existent. I’m excited to know where it is going to go!
As a whole I awarded this book 3.5 or 4 stars. I really enjoyed it, it was a great book to get you out of a reading slump. The reason it wasn’t 5 stars was the lack of action in places and I was frequently confused (which may be my own fault!).
However, Anna Banks’ writing is a dream to read and the settings are spectacular. The whole story is like a breath of fresh air with exotic features. The characters are witty and mysterious. It is such a joy to read!
I can’t wait until 2017 when ‘Ally’ come out- the last book in the duology! I truly recommend this book, it will take you on a journey through wondrous kingdoms with incredible characters.
Until next time,