Although this book had a lot of elements common to YA fantasy, this book felt like a breath of fresh air.
Selestra is a sixteen-year-old witch-in-training, waiting to take her mother's place as the King's Witch when she turns eighteen. Nox is the son of Selestra's once-trainer, hell-bent on revenge. When the two world's colliding, they both find themselves on the same side.
Oh, glorious, enemies-to-lovers, how I love thee.
But first things first.
The journey is what I truly loved most. We start our story in The Floating Mountain where Selestra has been confined, but we do get glimpses of the city below. It is when our heroes board a hot-air balloon (SQUEEE) and travel to new lands do we really see the world-building the author excels at. From the moment they escape the Floating Mountain, it's nothing but non-stop action!
I loved the characters, but I wish we got more page time with the B characters, especially Irenya. As Selestra's only friend, I really wanted some tender moments between the two with some girls-against-the-world mixed in.
As a self-contained book (which are few and far between nowadays) I loved Selestra's arc and the conclusion that will have you all smiling (maybe. I don't know.) This will be one of the best YA fantasy books of 2022, mark my words!