This book was never on my radar but when I got an advance copy, I was interested to see how it is. A Rapunzel retelling also sounded completely like my kind of story, so I was eager to explore that as well. Turns out, I should have tempered my expectations.
I am not saying it's a bad book. In fact, it is immensely readable, pretty fast paced too which means I breezed through this book very quickly. It's just that it is very YA and these days I am having a tough time appreciated young adult for what they are without putting too many expectations on them. I was also disappointed that there's hardly any elements of the Rapunzel story which are explored here except Selestra having long hair and being confined to a tower before she is of age.
The world building is good enough, if a bit difficult to get the hang of. The action sequences are pretty cool, especially towards the end. The side characters are also very interesting, Irenya and Micah being very easy to love and quite fascinating. But the main characters Selestra and Nox didn't evoke the same feelings in me. And without that connection with the couple, it's hard to enjoy the yearning that comes with an enemies to lovers story. I definitely wish their characters were more fleshed out and had definitive arcs which made it easier to root for them.
Overall, this was an easy to read and tad bit predictable YA fantasy novel with some cool action and interesting world building. It probably just doesn't cater to my current expectations from fantasy novels.