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Eva just wanted to fit in and be excepted by her mother the queen and her sister, but instead she is an outsider with a terrible magic that is feared by all. When Eva finds out that she is destined to battle her sister to the death to determine who the next ruler will be, Eva runs away to go live with her father who has always loved and accepted her. But now she is back at the palace, with only a short time until her name day ceremony that will begin the battle with her sister, and her magic is still unresponsive to her. Eva has only a few months to figure out how to control her deadly magic...and maybe more will be revealed to help her on the way to the throne.
This was equal parts the court intrigue and world building amazingness of the Throne of Glass series with the deathly battles between sisters of The Three Dark Crowns series. And even when I am drawing the comparisons between these two stories, A River of Royal Blood was able to be something of it's own, with such a cool unique premise and engaging plot. This was fast paced and complicated, keeping me guessing with no way to see what was coming next. I went into the story a blank slate, having no idea really what the story was about and I found something that I desperately need more from. The story was action packed, had tons of mystery and suspense, court politics, lies and secrets and a romance I completely rooted for.
The world in the story was my favorite part, so detailed and interesting. There are four types of people basically living in harmony, humans who rule the nation (by some underhanded behaviors in the past), the fey who are gorgeous and mercurial, a group that are basically vampires that live on human blood, and then the bottom class of animal/human hybrid shifters who were forced out of power and now seen as slaves who are kept contained and disliked. And did I mention all the groups have magic- all kinds of magic! I loved learning about the dynamic between the groups, the cultural divides and the history that came together to create this really different fantasy world.
The ending was so incredibly shocking! I did not see it coming, could never have predicted it and loved the surprise. The story is not over, not even a little bit, instead this set up for the next book which I can't wait to read. If you are looking for a high fantasy action story world then I highly recommend you pick this up!