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In a Garden Burning Gold

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Twins imbued with incredible magic and near-immortality will do anything to keep their family safe—even if it tears the siblings apart—in the first book of a mythic epic fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls. Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity helping their father rule their small, unstable country, using their control over Twins imbued with incredible magic and near-immortality will do anything to keep their family safe—even if it tears the siblings apart—in the first book of a mythic epic fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls. Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity helping their father rule their small, unstable country, using their control over the seasons, tides, and stars to keep the people in line. For a hundred years, they've been each other's only ally, defending each other and their younger siblings against their father's increasingly unpredictable anger. Now, with an independence movement gaining ground and their father's rule weakening, the twins must take matters into their own hands to keep their family—and their entire world—from crashing down around them. But other nations are jockeying for power, ready to cross and double cross, and if Rhea and Lexos aren't careful, they'll end up facing each other across the battlefield.


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Twins imbued with incredible magic and near-immortality will do anything to keep their family safe—even if it tears the siblings apart—in the first book of a mythic epic fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls. Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity helping their father rule their small, unstable country, using their control over Twins imbued with incredible magic and near-immortality will do anything to keep their family safe—even if it tears the siblings apart—in the first book of a mythic epic fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls. Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity helping their father rule their small, unstable country, using their control over the seasons, tides, and stars to keep the people in line. For a hundred years, they've been each other's only ally, defending each other and their younger siblings against their father's increasingly unpredictable anger. Now, with an independence movement gaining ground and their father's rule weakening, the twins must take matters into their own hands to keep their family—and their entire world—from crashing down around them. But other nations are jockeying for power, ready to cross and double cross, and if Rhea and Lexos aren't careful, they'll end up facing each other across the battlefield.

30 review for In a Garden Burning Gold

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rory Power

    hello i wrote this! if you would like to view content warnings for this book/series, you can find them on my website by clicking here okay bye hello i wrote this! if you would like to view content warnings for this book/series, you can find them on my website by clicking here okay bye

  2. 5 out of 5

    karen

    this is the first book in a duology, and it certainly does the work of a first book in a duology: 1) setting up the who/what/why of the world: its history, key players, and whatever details specific to its makeup a reader will need to know. 2) preparing the reader for the second book's action. it just...doesn't do much else. i rounded this 3.5 up because rory power is a local girl success story—RHODE ISLAND REPRESEEEENT!!! but for me, books in a series—whether long-running, trilogy, duology, whate this is the first book in a duology, and it certainly does the work of a first book in a duology: 1) setting up the who/what/why of the world: its history, key players, and whatever details specific to its makeup a reader will need to know. 2) preparing the reader for the second book's action. it just...doesn't do much else. i rounded this 3.5 up because rory power is a local girl success story—RHODE ISLAND REPRESEEEENT!!! but for me, books in a series—whether long-running, trilogy, duology, whatever—should each contain a conclusive story before building up to the teaser-ending "coming soon" preview. this one is really just setting the table for book two. something is certainly brought to an end, but we're not given much room for reflection before the second book's consequences come knocking, heralding what will certainly be an action-packed resolution. In a Garden Burning Gold is a greek-inspired epic fantasy, in which a consortium of immortal-ish ruling families, each helmed by a monarchical representative called a Stratagiozi, control the innerworkings of the natural world: the tides, seasons, stars, the physical signs of aging; basically all the things affecting the lives and fates of regular mortal folks like us. these powers are passed down through the bloodlines, like the generational wealth of the gods, and although ostensibly part of a federation with common goals, the families are all working their respective angles within this uneasy alliance, secretly making moves as they vie for power, territory, and influence over everyone else. it's stock epic fantasy, themed with political intrigue, magic, betrayal, and power grabs. this story focuses on the argyros family of the country thyzakos, whose stratagiozi vasilis has four children: the twins alexandros (lexos) and rhea, and their younger siblings nitsos and chrysanthi. vasilis is a particularly powerful (and feared) ruler, because he controls death. rhea's powers are also connected to death: in her official role as Thyspira, she oversees the changing of the seasons by choosing a suitor from a selection offered up from each of the neighboring countries, wedding them, and killing them when it's time, say, to usher in spring. the chosen suitor's region enjoys some benefits for their sacrificial sons and daughters, so it's not completely barbaric, right? rhea's been doing this spouse-killing gig for centuries; her gift, her responsibility, and recently—her burden. this is stock immortality predicament—their longevity distances them from the concerns of the mortals their actions affect; death is an abstract concept, and to rhea, taking a life has become casual, repetitious—she's rarely there to see the effect death has on the deceased's loved ones. still, it's beginning to take its toll on her, and in the aftermath of her most recent dead husband, who started developing feelings for her against all common sense, rhea's been having some moral qualms. and now it's time to get married again. the novel's other POV character is rhea's twinsie lexos—and vasilis' second in command—a role that gives him a seat at the table but not much political power. both he and rhea, whose duties take her—briefly—to other countries, have seen more of the world than their younger siblings, but their lives are fairly constrained by maintaining the family's political power and protecting thyzakos from the other stratagiozi. all four children live in fear-love of their father, who is demanding and absolute, but his behavior is becoming increasingly erratic and unpredictable, and an unstable person with his kind of power, well, we have seen—it can be concerning. except for the details about how these families control the elements (many of which powers give rise to procedural questions in the readers' mind that have not been answered thus far), this is a pretty conventional piece of epic fantasy. i'm not entirely sure why this title being marketed as adult, since her other books have all been YA and this one certainly reads like YA. the characters are centuries old, but their life-experience is limited, so they have the narrow, sheltered worldview and emotional range of adolescents, and it's ultimately a coming-of-age story about a younger generation pushing back against the power structures set in motion by their elders, paving the way for change, for progress. this review is coming across negative, which is unfortunate, because i did enjoy the book, but if i'm being forced to consider it as 1) a standalone novel, and 2) an adult title, welp, i got some criticisms. this would be a very good first half of a book. this would be a very good YA novel. it's a straightforward narrative that doesn't ask much of the reader—and i am a reader, not some rigid writing 101 teacher, so i'm not gonna scrawl "show us, don't tell us" all over this, because in my opinion, telling is a perfectly valid way to write a story. there's a comfort in being carried and sometimes we just want to sit down and be told a story. this one carries—there's just one set of footprints in the sand, and even though it's not particularly challenging or unexpected, storywise, there are some standout scenes and really lovely descriptions. i psyched myself out when i saw the massive list of names at the front: i slogged through the first 1/3 of the book, reading it in a very slow overcautious way to get my bearings, but once i got over that bullshit, this was actually very briskly paced. i'm intrigued to see where it's going, which seems to be "nowhere good," for team argyros, and i do hope chrysanthi gets to be more than just emotional furniture in book two. ****************************************** i have had an E-ARC of this since november and a physical ARC of it for a month, but with all of life's perfect storms, i've only been able to get to it now, five days before pub date. i hope to have it reviewed by then, because GRATITUDE, but there're always more storm clouds, aren't there? come to my blog!

  3. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **3.5-stars** In a Garden Burning Gold is Rory Power's Adult Fantasy debut and I would argue she has brought her own unique stamp to that space. We love to see it. There's no denying that Power has a wickedly delightful imagination and a beautiful style of writing. Additionally, in the YA space, I've loved her body horror and vivid imagery. In a Garden Burning Gold is a complex story following twins, Rhea and Lexos. The twins are gifted with special powers and use those to help their father rule th **3.5-stars** In a Garden Burning Gold is Rory Power's Adult Fantasy debut and I would argue she has brought her own unique stamp to that space. We love to see it. There's no denying that Power has a wickedly delightful imagination and a beautiful style of writing. Additionally, in the YA space, I've loved her body horror and vivid imagery. In a Garden Burning Gold is a complex story following twins, Rhea and Lexos. The twins are gifted with special powers and use those to help their father rule their small country. The twins have two other siblings, Chrysanthi and Nitsos. These children also have unique talents of their own, but they're not close to as powerful as Rhea and Lexos. Therefore they are but a footnote in their father's eye. Rhea controls the changing of the seasons, but in order to do so she must select a consort and ultimately end their life in order to switch from one season to the next. That's a heavy assignment, as you can imagine. Lexos controls the stars and tides. Together, Rhea and Lexos have always been each other's main allies, but what happens when they are no longer on the same side? As I mentioned above, this is a complex story. The world-building takes up a lot of time and I still don't feel like I understand everything that was involved in all of the political maneuverings. Lexos and Rhea are in separates places throughout most of the story and they are both interacting with numerous side characters. I had a difficult time keeping any of these characters straight. Honestly, I was barely holding it together for the first 75% of the book. Around that point there's a shocking twist that dropped me back in and didn't let up. Prior to that point however, it was just okay for me. It was pretty writing, I could see that it was a good story, but I personally didn't feel connected. The point behind it all felt very elusive to me. Fortunately, the experience really amped up towards the end. There were some startling revelations that I would love to explore further. Therefore, I will absolutely pick up the next book when it releases. So, even though it may seem like I was underwhelmed by this, I wouldn't necessarily agree with that. I think this is a solid start to a very complicated story. Power is a gifted writer and I trust that she is going to up the stakes even further in the next book. Overall, I would recommend this to Fantasy Readers who enjoy lush world-building, slow burn, political and familial drama based stories. I know that even though this one didn't capture me from the very start, that there are a lot of Readers out there who will be engaged with it from the very first chapter. Thank you to the publisher, Del Rey Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to the sequel!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily (emilykatereads)

    If Rory Power’s name is on it, it’s automatically one of my top anticipated releases

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    3.5 stars Previous fans of Rory Power are in for an adjustment. This adult fantasy was a combination of intense setup, rich worldbuilding, uneven pacing, and a unique sense of character. I feel mixed about it...but at the end of the day, positive? I'll do my best to unpack my feelings here. Sense of place: ★★★ Pacing: ★★ for the first half, higher for the second half Character arcs: ★★ 1/2 Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2 Twins Rhea and Lexos have grown up over the course of a century with a unique set of powers. A 3.5 stars Previous fans of Rory Power are in for an adjustment. This adult fantasy was a combination of intense setup, rich worldbuilding, uneven pacing, and a unique sense of character. I feel mixed about it...but at the end of the day, positive? I'll do my best to unpack my feelings here. Sense of place: ★★★ Pacing: ★★ for the first half, higher for the second half Character arcs: ★★ 1/2 Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2 Twins Rhea and Lexos have grown up over the course of a century with a unique set of powers. As a part of this world's ruling class of elite families, the twins' father, Baba, owns several of the world's various magical gifts and has bequeathed them to his children as needed. Rhea controls the passing of the seasons with her seasonal consort sacrifices, while Lexos stitches the constellations in the night sky each night and handles the ocean's tides. In their seat of power, the twins, Baba, and their two younger siblings have ruled their small territory with an iron fist for over a century. The magical gifts of each ruling family pass along to subsequent family members in a patriarchal line of succession—unless someone comes along and murders the whole family and takes the gifts for himself—like Baba did. This mythic and heavily Greek-inspired fable feels epic in scope from the start, with one sibling painting the colors of the garden to color in the plants of the realm and another building mechanical animals that manifest as real beings elsewhere. And that's just the tip of the iceberg for this world's grasp of magic. High concepts of magic are at their best here. Rhea and Lexos are the heart of this novel. Their two points of view carry us through this sprawling epic of political intrigue, toxic families, and cultural influences. A serious dose of ancient Greek carries through into the political structure of this novel—and by serious, I mean SERIOUS, as a non-Greek academic I found this element unnecessarily confusing to grasp—while in other aspects of this novel popular book concepts peek out from the shadows in some of the side adventures and softer plot sides. It's an interesting story set in a very confusing world and tied to a classic twist on a basic plot: how far will you go for family, and when do you choose yourself? Ultimately, I found In A Garden Burning Gold to be a confusing mesh of too much and too little at the same time. Too much: Reliance on the reader's knowledge of Greek influence. As mentioned above, if you are not familiar with the political intricacies of ancient Greek systems, the first half of the book is unnecessarily confusing and puts you immediately on the back foot. It also makes the first half of the book an absolute slog, as that half is almost entirely setup and politics. The author does work on explaining it for the average reader, but it was hard and I was aware that I was missing a few tricks right off the top. An unfortunately frustrating element for me. Too little: Sense of authenticity in the family interactions. This is not a spoiler for significant events, but I will say that for siblings who have coexisted with each other in their family estate for almost 100 years, they do not feel like it. They don't understand each other, there are fundamental divides in their ability to communicate on even the basest of levels. They are also 100% reliant on their relationship with their toxic father to dictate how they interact with each other. It felt like no other family dynamic I've ever seen (positive or negative) and it made the family seem more like distant relatives that happened to be cohabitating as opposed to actual flesh and blood siblings. Siblings know each other, regardless of how the parent tries to manipulate the relationship(s). Even if its a toxic vibe, siblings know each other. I also struggled with some of the plot reveals and character arcs, if I'm honest. Rhea's naivety bothered me, Lexos' inability to separate his sense of worth from his father and their family status seemed static and only gained dynamism toward the end. This is clearly a story that is going somewhere, and I can feel it's going to be epic, but given our starting point the entry into the world was a harder read to enjoy. The ending was fantastic though... I think book two is going to rise from the foundations of this one with a lot of improvement given where we finally got our characters to be. Looking forward to continuing. Thank you to Del Rey for my copy in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Instagram

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book was definitely out of my comfort zone. While I wouldn’t necessarily say it is a bad book, it was just not the one for me. I felt bored and I didn’t wanna fall into a reading slump. With that said I DNF it at 30%. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this arc in exchange for my honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Switching genres and age categories can be rough and In a Garden Burning Gold was definitely a bumpy ride. Rory Powers has written YA horror/thrillers but this is a Greek inspired adult fantasy, which is quite a departure from what she has done in the past. At its best this book has interesting ideas, fraught family relationships, and deadly power plays. But too much exposition, very uneven pacing, and characterization issues made this a struggle to get through at times. The first 15% of the boo Switching genres and age categories can be rough and In a Garden Burning Gold was definitely a bumpy ride. Rory Powers has written YA horror/thrillers but this is a Greek inspired adult fantasy, which is quite a departure from what she has done in the past. At its best this book has interesting ideas, fraught family relationships, and deadly power plays. But too much exposition, very uneven pacing, and characterization issues made this a struggle to get through at times. The first 15% of the book is almost entirely info-dumping and unnecessary exposition, but even after that we frequently get long, needlessly descriptive passages and a lot of telling rather than showing (please, have these characters DO something, not just sit around and talk!). Then the last 25% or so is action packed, high stakes, and pretty solidly written. This book should have been significantly shorter with more action and a faster moving plot. And it's worth noting that it is NOT a standalone. It ends on kind of a cliffhanger and the fact that so much of this book could have been cut makes that frustrating. We get two perspective characters- twins who look 20 but are supposedly much older (though their characterization did not make that age feel believable at all). Their father is a ruler, almost like a deity, with magical powers. They also have some abilities, but he's abusive and pretty awful. Rhea has spent decades marrying someone new and then killing them in order to make the season change, but now things are about to be different. I thought the most compelling part of this book was the family relationships- four siblings with an abusive father who terrorizes them, but who they all want to impress. I wish this had spent more time on characterization and family relationships, less time describing things that aren't super important, and less time on this romantic subplot that feels completely unbelievable and very young/immature for being between adults, one of whom is supposedly almost a century old. As a reading experience, this book was a roller coaster. When it was good, it was very good. But the rest of the time I was bored or annoyed. Rory Power is great at writing dark, disturbing family relationships and creepy twists, so when she focused on that I was into it. The epic fantasy piece, unfortunately didn't hit so well for me. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley, all opinions are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power is the first book in the new Argyrosi fantasy series. The story in In a Garden Burning Gold is one that is told by alternating the point of view between characters. Rhea and Lexos are twins who have grown up the children of a powerful elite family with their father, Baba, owning several of the land’s magical powers. Rhea and Lexos have each been granted a magical gift from their father to control. Rhea controls the seasons by sacrificing her consorts and Lexo In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power is the first book in the new Argyrosi fantasy series. The story in In a Garden Burning Gold is one that is told by alternating the point of view between characters. Rhea and Lexos are twins who have grown up the children of a powerful elite family with their father, Baba, owning several of the land’s magical powers. Rhea and Lexos have each been granted a magical gift from their father to control. Rhea controls the seasons by sacrificing her consorts and Lexos controls the night sky and the constellations. The twins along with their other siblings have control of the lands and have for years with their power. I came into In a Garden Burning Gold expecting to like this new fantasy as I had read Rory Power’s work before and enjoyed those reads. This book is obviously different than the two previous and it wasn’t the change of genre that had me frowning but the feeling that the originality that were in the previous books I had read had gone with the genre change. The story can be summed up with sibling with daddy issues like many others out there and it pretty much dragged on all the way through for me thinking I’d read this before. Some may enjoy this new series but I just wanted more out of the it myself. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  9. 5 out of 5

    Victoria S

    3.5⭐️s 3/14/22 TW/CW: As always, Rory Power's website has a list I can’t lie – I spent a majority of this book being very confused. I think that’s part of the reason I don’t read high-fantasy super often, haha. The book does one thing right – it has a character list! Although, then you can’t actually understand half of the character list because it lists all these countries (?) and titles that you don’t really understand until the end of the book. My favorite part of the book was probably the dual P 3.5⭐️s 3/14/22 TW/CW: As always, Rory Power's website has a list I can’t lie – I spent a majority of this book being very confused. I think that’s part of the reason I don’t read high-fantasy super often, haha. The book does one thing right – it has a character list! Although, then you can’t actually understand half of the character list because it lists all these countries (?) and titles that you don’t really understand until the end of the book. My favorite part of the book was probably the dual POVs. Rhea and Lexos have very different views and opinions on the same issues, and we are able to see their actions and their reasoning behind them. Both view themselves as “helping the family” (the primary drive behind all of their actions), but have very different ways of going about it. I would be remiss if I did not mention one of the main critiques I’ve seen of the book – that an autistic coded character is painted as the big bad. However, I don’t feel like the book painted him as extra-villainous. The author makes sure to point out that nobody in the situation, on any side of the impending war, is free of fault. Everybody is unreliable and morally gray. Honestly, everybody but Chrysanthi, Stavra, and some of the Sxoriza kinda suck. All of the siblings are dealing with the abuse of their father the best they can. The Sxoriza are trying their hardest to make things better for the people around them. The other Stratagiozis are all lying, scheming backstabbers and have been for centuries, apparently. There were some plot twists I saw coming, and some that took me by surprise. Much like our protagonists, I trusted characters I shouldn’t have and didn’t pay enough attention to certain characters who made themselves appear unassuming. There is a small bit of romance included – Rhea has to marry someone new every season and she can’t always keep her feelings out of the way of her duties to the world. I can’t say that I love her with her love interest (he’s pretty great, she’s not), but I’m excited to see the aftereffects of what is revealed at the very end. I also don’t know if Rory meant for us to ship Lexos and Stavra, but I absolutely did. The idea of a childhood friends to lovers got me. I wasn’t as impressed with this as I wanted to be. It’s nothing like her first two novels – which isn’t a bad thing! I’m still excited for the sequel and have sooo many questions. Similar to Burn Our Bodies Down, one of the main themes of the book is parental abuse and trauma. Reading the interactions between the children and their father was chilling and at times all too relatable. Between all of the family drama, this is a critique of society and how those in power are so caught up in their own schemes that they stop caring about their citizens. Overall, I am excited for the sequel! Can’t wait to hopefully get some more answers! Huge thank you to Netgalley and Del Rey Books for an ARC of this! 3/11/22 As with everything Rory Power writes, this was beautifully written. It takes some time to get sucked in and understand everything, but when you do.. you don’t want to leave. Full review to come! 1/26/22 I GOT AN ARC 3/27/20 This is already my most anticipated release of 2022.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I apologize to the author, the publisher, and to y'all. I have been trying to read the ARC I received for this book for about 3 months. I haven't read or enjoyed fantasy in years, but I was trying to give it a shot for one of my favorite authors. I even waited for the audiobook to come out to try to listen to it rather than read it physically, and I just simply couldn't follow what was going on, which is how I always feel when I'm reading fantasy. So I just had to finally turn in the towel and g I apologize to the author, the publisher, and to y'all. I have been trying to read the ARC I received for this book for about 3 months. I haven't read or enjoyed fantasy in years, but I was trying to give it a shot for one of my favorite authors. I even waited for the audiobook to come out to try to listen to it rather than read it physically, and I just simply couldn't follow what was going on, which is how I always feel when I'm reading fantasy. So I just had to finally turn in the towel and give up. I really wish I could give an actual review for this book as I have read all of Rory power's books and given them five stars, so it really sucks that I wasn't able to complete this. I really hope fantasy lovers will pick this up and love it since I wasn't able to.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    These characters are supposed to be at least 80 years old. Why do they all talk and act like teenagers? Why do I have to hear so much about Rhea’s clothes? Why is everyone’s grooming so important? Why am I presented with an invented, but untranslated, language? Why is the book all world building and no action? I made it through 20% and it was obvious that I would never read the next book in this series, so there was no point in struggling through this book. This was too YA for me, although it is These characters are supposed to be at least 80 years old. Why do they all talk and act like teenagers? Why do I have to hear so much about Rhea’s clothes? Why is everyone’s grooming so important? Why am I presented with an invented, but untranslated, language? Why is the book all world building and no action? I made it through 20% and it was obvious that I would never read the next book in this series, so there was no point in struggling through this book. This was too YA for me, although it is supposed to be for adults. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. In a Garden Burning Gold was a very interesting fantasy book to dive into. I honestly took my sweet time devouring it. Which was a nice change of pace for me. In this, you will meet Alexandros and Rhea. They are twins and have very important jobs and powers. He controls the stars and tides while she changes the seasons. After meeting these two, it was clear that their powers and decisions took a toll on who they were. Espec I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. In a Garden Burning Gold was a very interesting fantasy book to dive into. I honestly took my sweet time devouring it. Which was a nice change of pace for me. In this, you will meet Alexandros and Rhea. They are twins and have very important jobs and powers. He controls the stars and tides while she changes the seasons. After meeting these two, it was clear that their powers and decisions took a toll on who they were. Especially when it came to Rhea. With each season she has to pick a consort to sacrifice. I couldn't even imagine repeating this process four times a year. Don't even get me started on feelings that could be potential on top of it either. As for Alexandros, well, it seemed like he just kept looking to please his own father. Baba was a completely horrible person. It seemed like he chose certain moments to be a father and those moments usually ended up with his own children apologizing and asking for forgiveness. He was a turd in my eyes and deserved every bit of karma coming his way. In the beginning, things definitely started off a bit slowly, but they gradually picked up. Especially after we got the lay of land, information about their magic, and everything else. Each chapter flowed together quite easily that I couldn't wait for the big reveal to come my way. In the end, lots of betrayals came and went. Some I didn't expect and others I figured would happen. I'm very excited with how this one ended and can't wait for the sequel to become available. I have lots of questions about a certain reunion and need answers soon!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    I was so excited to read this beautiful book! The author has an MA in prose fiction and it shows, as it’s written with stunning imagery. I also loved this spin on Greek mythology & culture. However amidst the beautiful descriptions, I found the story and characters lacking any depth. And the pacing was SO slow. Every time I thought I could relate to a character or I would begin to get excited about the direction the plot was going, it would fall flat and ultimately left me disappointed. Overall I was so excited to read this beautiful book! The author has an MA in prose fiction and it shows, as it’s written with stunning imagery. I also loved this spin on Greek mythology & culture. However amidst the beautiful descriptions, I found the story and characters lacking any depth. And the pacing was SO slow. Every time I thought I could relate to a character or I would begin to get excited about the direction the plot was going, it would fall flat and ultimately left me disappointed. Overall I would say this story had style but lacked substance, which is unfortunate because it had so much potential. Thank you to Rory Power and Random House Publishing for the opportunity to read this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    calypso

    i don’t care what anyone says this book was absolutely beautiful

  15. 4 out of 5

    Renae

    Rory Power’s adult debut is full of interesting ideas: a world with Greek and/or Byzantine flavoring; near-immortal twins who find themselves on opposite sides of a building war; exploration of the varying ways systemic abuse might shape an individual. Yet a successful novel requires more than just a good idea. To effectively convey good ideas to readers, an author must communicate their vision in a manner that achieves both clarity and emotionality. So many times while reading In a Garden Burni Rory Power’s adult debut is full of interesting ideas: a world with Greek and/or Byzantine flavoring; near-immortal twins who find themselves on opposite sides of a building war; exploration of the varying ways systemic abuse might shape an individual. Yet a successful novel requires more than just a good idea. To effectively convey good ideas to readers, an author must communicate their vision in a manner that achieves both clarity and emotionality. So many times while reading In a Garden Burning Gold, I caught glimpses of brilliance, but Power consistently struggles to fully delve into her characters and the deeper layers of meaning beneath mechanical plot movement. The end result is a fantasy novel that has more “coulda been great” vibes than any actually rewarding elements. To be fair, In a Garden Burning Gold is both enjoyable and readable. This is not a horrible book. It’s a longish fantasy novel that doesn’t feel unnecessarily lengthy, partially because the text rapidly alternates between the twins as dual narrators. This creates a sensation of movement and urgency in the story, even when the plot itself often seems to have little momentum. I understand that saying “this is not a horrible book, actually” is damning with faint praise. The book is readable, yes, absolutely, 100%. But the problem here is that Power has created a book that looks nice on the surface but which has no substance or humanity below the top layer. The narrative is not that deep—and it should have been. Without a strong, complex foundation, a story can only get so far. In a Garden Burning Gold is a lesson in “show, don’t tell” writ large. Don’t tell me that your protagonists are locked in a political battle of life and death. Show me. For example, the specter hanging over Rhea and Lexos—the thing that supposedly dictates their every decision—is their father and the power he holds over them. Their baba is a supernaturally powerful near-immortal ruler who maintains control over his children through a combination of cruelty, neglect, manipulation, and infrequent positive reinforcement. The author repeatedly tells the audience that Rhea and Lexos are terrified of their father and thus they are pathologically motivated to please him and/or avoid his anger. But Power doesn’t show readers why this is so. What specific things has Baba done that his children are so frightened of him? How exactly did years of isolation and manipulation bring them to their current state? Primary caregiver abuse shapes a person’s worldview and their response to not just the abuser but to everyone. It is complex and all-consuming. Power doesn’t even begin to delve into her protagonists’ relationship with their father, much less paint the vivid image that was necessary to make this a successful, emotionally-dynamic story. And honestly, without the full scope and impact of the twins’ trauma shown on the page, the entire book must necessarily fail. There is no nuanced understanding of who these character are, what their innermost desire are, their flaws and fears and failings. Because Rhea and Lexos are entirely lacking in depth, it is difficult to care either about what happens to them or what they decide to do about it. One of the central plot points in this book is that Rhea falls in love, and this experience changes her perspective profoundly. In a few quick sentences, Power informs her readers that Rhea loves this person and therefore she has decided to plot her father's downfall, but she doesn’t explore Rhea’s inner world and how/why this romantic attachment was so impactful. Similarly, after fighting for 300+ pages to preserve Baba’s legacy and win his father’s approval and love, Lexos ultimately decides to betray his parent in the final chapters. This could not have been an easy decision, yet the text does not show the process that lead Lexos to turn on his abuser, nor how that choice cost him (or didn’t). The last few chapters of In a Garden Burning Gold are meant to be shocking and intense, with a couple of key plot twists. A person Rhea and Lexos both trusted is proven to be a villain. Simultaneously, it is revealed that Baba murdered the twins’ mother because she was an obstacle to his plan for World Domination. There is hardly any emotional fallout from either discovery—betrayal, devastation, and grief should be palpable on the page, but they are not. Honestly, the scenes are so underwhelming that I can't tell if Power meant for them to be poignant or not. In addition the the above, this book is plagued with a similar lack of depth and complexity with respect to the cultural and political dynamics at play. This is ultimately a political fantasy, but cursory worldbuilding and generic backstabbing don’t make for gripping fiction. Overall, I think that the issue with the book is that I liked what the author wanted to do with her premise more than I liked what she actually accomplished. In a Garden Burning Gold is a disappointingly flat story that does justice to none of Power’s core concepts. If you’re going to write a book (in any genre) about how victims of childhood neglect/abuse live and function as adults, you need a lot more insight than this. In a Garden Burning Gold is like a half-baked dessert that tastes just okay enough that you don’t send it back to the kitchen, but also just weird-bad enough that you think twice before coming back to the restaurant. 📌 . Blog | Review Database | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    Atmospheric state intrigue featuring godlike entities of Greek myth. Power, loyalty, fealty, bargaining, corruption of absolute power and revolution. Serviceable read, gorgeous cover, but I'll probably forget it in a month. Atmospheric state intrigue featuring godlike entities of Greek myth. Power, loyalty, fealty, bargaining, corruption of absolute power and revolution. Serviceable read, gorgeous cover, but I'll probably forget it in a month.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)

    Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have been helping their father rule their small country for hundreds of years with their power over the tides, stars, seasons, and even death itself. But their father has become increasingly unstable, leaving the twins to scramble for power as other leaders close in and rebellion rises in the north. Sent to infiltrate the rebels, Rhea finds herself oddly sympathetic to their cause as she uncovers secrets about her own past, until she isn’t sure she and Lexos are Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have been helping their father rule their small country for hundreds of years with their power over the tides, stars, seasons, and even death itself. But their father has become increasingly unstable, leaving the twins to scramble for power as other leaders close in and rebellion rises in the north. Sent to infiltrate the rebels, Rhea finds herself oddly sympathetic to their cause as she uncovers secrets about her own past, until she isn’t sure she and Lexos are fighting for the same side anymore. I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Random House/Del Rey. Trigger warnings: character death (on-page), child/parent death, violence, blood, abusive households, manipulation. I made a serious mistake in requesting this book, so take my review from the perspective of someone who very rarely enjoys high fantasy. I requested this novel because Rory Power’s previous two books, Wilder Girls and Burn Our Bodies Down, are creepy, atmospheric YA horror novels. In a Garden Burning Gold is not. It’s very much an adult high fantasy novel, and had I read the description more carefully, I never would have picked it up. So, I’m here to suggest you do not make the same mistake! If you liked Power’s previous two novels, this might not be for you. If you didn’t like those, consider giving this one a try because they have almost nothing in common. This is an extremely complex fantasy world, and the world-building takes up much of the page-time. I quickly gave up trying to keep track of the various countries and families, most too tangential to give more than a passing glance, but I’m sure a more invested reader wouldn’t have trouble following it. Hand in hand with this are the numerous, elaborate descriptions of places, architecture, and wardrobe, and I’ll admit I ended up skimming through most of it. I care what a character is wearing almost never, and while the descriptions are good for establishing setting and atmosphere, I don’t need that much hand-holding to engage my imagination. Characters are kind of secondary to all of this. It’s one of those books where everyone is some variation of awful, and I was never sure whether I was supposed to be pulling for them or not. I was sympathetic to Rhea constantly being controlled by both her father and her brother, Lexos, but her change of heart is quick for something so drastic, and I felt nothing for her rather disdainful love interest (much like she does for much of the book). I feel like I should be understanding about Lexos trying to save his family at all costs and Nitsos being constantly overlooked, but since they’re all conniving power-seekers, it’s difficult to summon any sympathy. The plot is plenty convoluted, with lots of lies and scheming to keep readers guessing, but I couldn’t help feeling like everyone deserved what they got when things didn’t go their way. If they all mutually self-destruct in the next book, I won’t be there to see it. I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    This was in many ways similar to the other book I’ve read by Rory Power—WILDER GIRLS. At least, they both have the same kinds of flaws, although I would argue this book might have more of them. What I Liked: the worldbuilding The premise seemed weak in the beginning, although I expected it to be more like magical realism based on the first few chapters. That’s fine with me, as you can tell by other books I’ve loved like THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE. I will say that it was very refreshing to read This was in many ways similar to the other book I’ve read by Rory Power—WILDER GIRLS. At least, they both have the same kinds of flaws, although I would argue this book might have more of them. What I Liked: the worldbuilding The premise seemed weak in the beginning, although I expected it to be more like magical realism based on the first few chapters. That’s fine with me, as you can tell by other books I’ve loved like THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE. I will say that it was very refreshing to read a book that is Greek-inspired without being a book specifically about a Greek mythological figure or story. I’m kind of bored with Greek retellings (an unpopular opinion, I know) and this worked nicely in how it included those cultural aspects without being a direct retelling. What I Didn’t Like: a lot of other things That’s not totally fair, seeing as how I spent most of the book simply not caring about the characters or what would happen to them. Rhea and Lexos both seemed incredibly immature, despite the fact that they were supposed to be over a hundred years old. That part was pretty unrealistic. Rhea was particularly naive, believe she was such a good actor and liar when in reality she was painfully obvious. Maybe that was supposed to be a joke? I’m not sure. Lexos was the same way, except less interesting and less morally good. Frankly, I couldn’t care less what happened to him. That’s really unfortunate considering that his pov takes up half of the page time. Michali was the only character I cared about even a little bit. He still wasn’t that great when you compare him to characters from other, better books. Most of what kept me reading in the middle 50% of the book was everything going on with Rhea and Michali, but that turned out to be pretty weak. Leaning into the romance side of that would not have followed with the main plot of the book but it may have made things a little more interesting. I still couldn’t bring myself to care much when (view spoiler)[Michali died. I was mostly confused as to why the only decent and interesting character had been killed off. (hide spoiler)] In short, the premise was pretty good, but the characters were boring and the plot was all over the place, with a good portion of it also being boring. ——————————————————————————— I just got an arc!!! Thank you Netgalley!!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    dane

    Happy (late) release day! Definitely make sure to pick up a copy. Thank you to Titan Books for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! CAWPILE Rating: 7.57 (4 Stars) In a Garden Burning Gold is Rory Power's fantasy debut, and having read her debut book, Wilder Girls, I'd say this one is much stronger. The story was imbued with magic, myth and betrayal and was a very enjoyable read. We follow near-immortal twins Rhea and Lexos (Alexandros) who hold the power of the seasons, stars and Happy (late) release day! Definitely make sure to pick up a copy. Thank you to Titan Books for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! CAWPILE Rating: 7.57 (4 Stars) In a Garden Burning Gold is Rory Power's fantasy debut, and having read her debut book, Wilder Girls, I'd say this one is much stronger. The story was imbued with magic, myth and betrayal and was a very enjoyable read. We follow near-immortal twins Rhea and Lexos (Alexandros) who hold the power of the seasons, stars and tides as they discover a plot to overthrow their father's--the Stratagiozi--rule and become entrenched in trying to save their family which could force the twins on opposite sides of the battle. Personally, I enjoyed Rhea's perspective a lot more than Lexos' as I felt that she had a better personality and was able to connect with new characters much easier while forming relationships I truly cared about. I really hope we get a short story or novella surrounding her and Michali as I just loved their interactions. Her power--controlling the seasons--also weighed on her a lot more as she has to kill her consort for the season to change. This made her character arc a lot more emotional and one I could connect with as she was more vulnerable. Lexos' perspective was a lot subtler and political which provided a nice contrast to Rhea's. As the story progressed he became someone I did care about a lot, too, as he was involved in many plot twists, some of which were predictable but others not so much. I also found his relationship with his father to be much more interesting. They constantly struggled between being political partners and being father and son. The conflation between politics and family was very prevalent throughout this story as their Baba would treat them as his kids to people he wants to control in a matter of seconds. I wish we got to see more of this relationship, alas, we did not. The character of Baba also provided another parallel between his relationship with his children as it is made clear that he only cares for the power and land, not the citizens associated with them. He cares for his children's powers and not them themselves. Power also heavily improved on her world-building in this book. The book was fairly slow going for the first 40% but I really appreciated it as it allowed us to explore the different parts of the world in more detail without being bombarded with an info dump. By doing so she was able to properly explore the different politics, geography and even religions within the world which was nice. The only thing I wished she explored more was the twins' powers (and relationship) as they were told to us but shown in an extremely limited way which was disappointing as it was an amazing premise; though, with the way this ended, I believe their magic will be at the forefront of book two. Another thing I loved about this book was the politics. While it was your typical revolution story there are so many betrayals and plot twists that made the last 60% fly by. There are two scenes that really stand out to me, both of which occur in one of my favourite places visited: Agiokon. I hope they revisit there in book two. Some of the twists felt a little rushed and I wished they were given the proper attention they deserved to richen the emotional depth of the story. If you love politics and twists then this book is definitely for you. Lastly, the writing was pretty good. The best way to describe it was that some of the writing felt harsh and kind of hard to read whereas other parts flowed very nicely and had many beautiful lines. Additionally, there were a lot of funny one-liners which gave a nice reprieve from the more serious aspects of the story. You could also tell a lot of thought was put into crafting the world as a whole as there are many influences from around the world that blend together to form the amazing world it takes place. Greece is the place it is most notably influenced by, I would say, so if you love Greece and its culture I would recommend this. Overall, this was an extremely promising fantasy debut and I am looking forward to book two after the end of this book. I highly recommend picking up a copy on release day: April 5th 2022.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (The best boyfriends are book boyfriends)

    Thank you Netgalley and publisher for this incredible arc! In a Garden Burning Gold is another amazing book by Rory Power. I loved every second of this. It does start out slow but I enjoyed that because the author used the space to really do some great world building and set the tone for this story. This is told from the dual Pov' of twins Rhea and Lexos. They are both trying to keep their father in power but they still have many differences although they have a similar goal and are twins. I loved Thank you Netgalley and publisher for this incredible arc! In a Garden Burning Gold is another amazing book by Rory Power. I loved every second of this. It does start out slow but I enjoyed that because the author used the space to really do some great world building and set the tone for this story. This is told from the dual Pov' of twins Rhea and Lexos. They are both trying to keep their father in power but they still have many differences although they have a similar goal and are twins. I loved the political intrigue that took part in this incredible world and the shocking betrayals. I will definitely be picking up book two! I highly recommend this! Look for this on April 5th!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maddie O.

    I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley. I really liked this one! It was a mashup of high fantasy, Greek culture, and complicated family relationships and the great writing really made it work. I think this is a standalone (I may be wrong) but it could work as either a one-off or part of a series. Would definitely be interested in more!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Tonks

    I swear I'm gonna read anything thsi author writes. I swear I'm gonna read anything thsi author writes.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hilly ♡

    Well, guess we are getting a new Rory Power in 2022! I’ve been waiting for the ice book for more than a year now but I don’t mind if I get to read this one first 🥰

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at the BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2022/04/29/... I found Rory Power’s YA to be a bit on the weird side, but this was definitely more my speed. Her adult debut In a Garden Burning Gold is a fantasy novel that hews more strongly to the traditions of the epic fantasy genre, which is probably why it may receive more mixed responses from longtime fans but worked so well for me. At the center of this Greek-inspired tale are twins Lexos and Rhea. Together with their younger sibl 4 of 5 stars at the BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2022/04/29/... I found Rory Power’s YA to be a bit on the weird side, but this was definitely more my speed. Her adult debut In a Garden Burning Gold is a fantasy novel that hews more strongly to the traditions of the epic fantasy genre, which is probably why it may receive more mixed responses from longtime fans but worked so well for me. At the center of this Greek-inspired tale are twins Lexos and Rhea. Together with their younger siblings Nitsos and Chrysanthi, they live under the watchful eye of their ruthless father who is the all-powerful ruler of their small island nation. Members of their family are also endowed with magical abilities which make them near immortals, and the twins in particular are gifted with control over certain natural phenomena, even if these powers come with a steep price. For example, Rhea’s ability to influence the changing of the seasons means regularly having to choose a suitor from the many neighboring territories, and after the wedding, the killing of her husband would be the catalyst required to usher in a new season. Despite this bloody business, there have been no shortage of candidates over the centuries willing to offer themselves up as sacrifice, since in doing so, their nations would gain favor from Rhea’s family—and especially from her father, who controls death. Lately, however, the old man’s behavior has been growing increasingly erratic, to the consternation of his children. Lexos, ever loyal to his father, has been helping him consolidate his rule by using his powers to control the stars and the tides, but now dangerous rumors have been spreading and the northern territories are on the brink of rebellion. Not knowing when or even if their father will get better, the twins realize they must act quickly on his behalf to keep everything from falling apart. But what would happen if Lexos and Rhea, who have always been in tune with each other, suddenly decide they want different things? Lexos only has the best interests of his family’s sovereignty at heart and believes his sister will go along with any plan he devises, but Rhea has become weary of being responsible for so much death. For once she may have a chance to save someone and gain some happiness, but her twin may be too blinded by his own goals to understand. I highly enjoyed the major elements of this novel, specifically the world-building, and magic, and the focus on family dynamics. The story is mainly told through the duo perspectives of Lexos and Rhea, who are together at the beginning of the book but then spent the rest of it mostly apart, with the former remaining with their father on the island while the latter travels to the land of her new suitor to fulfill her role in their plans. In this way, readers get a fuller picture of the world and a better idea of the stakes at play. Their separation also heightened the suspense of not knowing how deep the trust between the two siblings truly goes. I also find the author’s writing style very appealing. She has a way with words and a talent for bringing even the most abstract concepts to life. While the world-building itself isn’t as well-defined as it could be in this book, Power’s prose is solid and so some of the vagueness behind the magic systems can be forgiven because she makes up for it with the sheer originality and mystique behind her ideas. I loved the idea of this desperate family doing everything they can to hold on to the power they have enjoyed for centuries, fearful now that they know it can all just slip away. The bond between Lexos and Rhea is also complex and nuanced, and ditto goes for their relationship with their crazy, awful father. Like I said, the family dynamic is a main highlight for me, almost to the detriment of the other character relationships in the novel because hardly anyone else really stood out. That said, later on I did start to develop an emotional attachment to Rhea’s minor romantic subplot, if only because it started to change and reveal so much about her core personality. Story wise, In a Garden Burning Gold is solid, and the pacing is what I would describe as more of a slow burn. For avid readers of epic fantasy though, it’s more or less what you would expect, with a gradual buildup to a strong finish, leaving lots to look forward to in the next installment. Bottom line, Rory Power’s adult debut is quite different from her YA, but she’s got the epic fantasy conventions down pat, creating a world and characters that will make genre fans feel right at home, while enhancing the experience with her own imaginative flourishes. I can’t wait for the next book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Monte Price

    When I was initially approached by the publicist about getting this arc this book wasn't on my radar. Me and adult fantasy aren't always the best of friends. Honestly this book and I don't really feel like the best of friends? But I'm also not mad about it? At it's core this feels like trying to jam in a miniseries worth of content in the first book. Some of that is better handled than others. This is also a fantasy where the world it set in plays some significance to the story, but it's really j When I was initially approached by the publicist about getting this arc this book wasn't on my radar. Me and adult fantasy aren't always the best of friends. Honestly this book and I don't really feel like the best of friends? But I'm also not mad about it? At it's core this feels like trying to jam in a miniseries worth of content in the first book. Some of that is better handled than others. This is also a fantasy where the world it set in plays some significance to the story, but it's really just a messed up family drama? And on that level it worked. It was the fantasy table setting that occasionally gummed up the gears and made the narrative feel like it was spinning its wheels, meandering in places, and to some likely feel as though its doing a lot of unnecessary exposition dumping. The narrative is definitely slow, but I felt that nothing felt like it really just being shoveled at me with just the desire to relay important world information. I thought that it balanced well enough. Where the narrative went south for me was really in the pacing. I didn't mind that the narrative was slow, that we were setting up all these dominoes. What killed it for me was how the third act wanted to take a sledgehammer to everything. The last fifteen percent or so was a mad dash down hill throwing in all kinds of twists and turns in what had felt like a very deliberate story being told in a very deliberate way. So on that level it was kind of a let down and I definitely wanted something more to it than what I was given. Overall, I would be interested in seeing how the story ends. Because of that mad dash the narrative leaves off in a place with lots of potential. Just don't know in how much of a rush I'd be to get the answers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim Joseph

    I really enjoyed this fresh take on the mythogy retelling trope. Rather than relying on what has come before, Power has taken a whole new tack, depicting more of a god-like position of men acting to rule countries in more of a mafia-style. When twin Brother Lexos and Sister Rhea get put on either side of a conflict, though it sends the whole power structure into disarray! Repleate with beautiful, though not over-flowery prose, I was completely drawn into the story and the world created. With good I really enjoyed this fresh take on the mythogy retelling trope. Rather than relying on what has come before, Power has taken a whole new tack, depicting more of a god-like position of men acting to rule countries in more of a mafia-style. When twin Brother Lexos and Sister Rhea get put on either side of a conflict, though it sends the whole power structure into disarray! Repleate with beautiful, though not over-flowery prose, I was completely drawn into the story and the world created. With good character growth, a ruling class steeped in hethenistic wealth and an opressed society looki g to break free, it has all the trappings of a great Greek tale, with its own unique stamp. Can't wait for more, Rory!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Neila

    The only thing that slightly saved this for me is the final plot twist. Not saying it made up for the rest of the book but the last 30 pages got finally somewhat interesting. The world and political intrigue is super complicated and yet very shallow. The world building is quite weak and seem to focus on all the wrong things. There is a multitude of names, characters, regions, some specific to that world religions, but nothing is ever explained and somehow the reader is supposed to know what it a The only thing that slightly saved this for me is the final plot twist. Not saying it made up for the rest of the book but the last 30 pages got finally somewhat interesting. The world and political intrigue is super complicated and yet very shallow. The world building is quite weak and seem to focus on all the wrong things. There is a multitude of names, characters, regions, some specific to that world religions, but nothing is ever explained and somehow the reader is supposed to know what it all means, included some new language that doesn’t bring anything to the plot except a headache and confusion. Nothing happens for the first half. To be honest, not much happens until the very end. Instead of describing Rhea’s dresses, the story would have benefited of some in depth world building instead of leaving the reader to try desperately to piece things together (which I’m not sure the author herself knew where the plot was going and how the world should look). Everything is as if behind some mist, and you can’t quite picture, the world, people, customs or much of the action. Everything just blends together. The writing makes it really hard to picture or imagine any of the surroundings, clothes, even characters. The characters make no sense. They’re over hundreds of years, looking in their 20s and behaving 12. They’re naive and ignorant and it is not really logical as to why. Lexos is his father second, travels with him and deals with the affairs of the “state”, having his own opinions on threats over the realm, that his father is supposed to be overlooking. And yet, he doesn’t know anything about the other “regions” traditions and habits and keeps being surprised by everything. Rhea had consorts in various part of the realm and yet acts as if this was her first time and she never saw the world. I don’t get the characters, motivations, aspirations and goals. Things just happen, decisions are made because there needs to be some kind of plot, and everything is very low stakes, even murders and deaths. No one seem to have a personality or a reason behind anything they do, except some vague notion that the family has to be protected (not sure how any of those choices are related to it). Overall, there was an idea that was quite interesting with twins making the world get on, under their cruel father’s umbrella. However, the twin link was never used so they might as well just have been siblings (in particular that they have 2 other siblings and they all have lukewarm relationships). Everything is murky and foggy and there’s no clarity regarding descriptions, world building, characterisation or plot. It’s just so vague on top of having not much happening that I struggle to find anything to hold onto. Quite a disappointment as there was an idea but it seems like the author herself wasn’t quite sure what the idea was and where it was going… Unfortunately, I won’t be continuing this series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽♔

    Rating ~3.5 In a world where the forces of nature are controlled by six families. A pair of twins will disrupt the state of it all. Lexos is his father's second in command, and with his father weakening he is determined to step in and save their family no matter the costs. Rhea controls the seasons. Every time she must marry a new consort and kill him in order for the seasons to progress normally, and every time it is never her choice. This time, however, she goes against her father's wishes. For Rating ~3.5 In a world where the forces of nature are controlled by six families. A pair of twins will disrupt the state of it all. Lexos is his father's second in command, and with his father weakening he is determined to step in and save their family no matter the costs. Rhea controls the seasons. Every time she must marry a new consort and kill him in order for the seasons to progress normally, and every time it is never her choice. This time, however, she goes against her father's wishes. For a reason she herself cannot even explain. But it is that act that helps set everything in motion. What ensues can be summarized in a single word: CHAOS The book itself, started off rocky. It felt slow and I wasn't truly invested at first. I honestly thought this book was going to be a dud for me. But then, finally, we started to see some character development. Our protagonists finally started getting wise to the ways of the world and acknowledged their own ignorance, at least one of them did. Yet just when things seemed to be falling into place, though a confrontation was inevitable, we got a twist that had me able ready to toss out the whole thing. Not because it was bad, but because I was upset. Then of course we were barrelling toward the conclusion and so much happened it so little time. Betrayal, murder, betrayal again, attempted murder, manipulation, deception, MORE betrayal, and then finally yet another twist. The book ended, however, on what I would consider a high note. The epilogue made me happy and I'm looking forward to seeing how the story progresses. So overall, an absolute rollercoaster. I thought it was a standalone book, but turns out I was wrong. All issues aside, I’m obviously going to check out the second book. I simply must! I have a feeling this series is going to be chaotic but addicting. Thank you to NetGalley and Del Rey Books for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest thoughts.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eva B.

    I can just tell by the title that this cover is going to be gorgeous. Update! It's pretty, not what I was expecting but pretty! I can just tell by the title that this cover is going to be gorgeous. Update! It's pretty, not what I was expecting but pretty!

  30. 5 out of 5

    liz˳✧༚

    THE TITLE- MAAM IM ALREADY INTRIGUED GIVE ME MORE OF YOUR BEAUTY WRITING

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