This fantasy enemies to lovers is a 4.2/5 for me. The story telling was great but the overall vibe felt underwhelming especially after it’s been talked up so much on social media. It’s written in third person in two points of view. I wish the chapters were labeled with whose head we’re in before starting as a reminder.
Thoughts while reading:
The ruthlessness of the first chapter was surprising. Then things made a bit more sense.
I don’t understand why the king would want to kill 11/12 of his daughters after the chosen one is picked. There doesn’t seem to be any advantage to this choice.
Oooh in chapter 5 I’m super excited that Aren has a point of view.
Jensen has a creative and unique way of creating long sentences.
I don’t like that the twins names start with the same letter, A. There’s also two characters that start with the letter L which is confusing.
The banter between Aren & Lara is great in the beginning but I need more. I love how not too many characters are introduced too quickly.
The author is doing a good job at building a community and showing us the humanity of the enemy. (Chapter 18)
At the halfway mark I’m liking how things are going but it feels a tiny bit slower in the last couple of chapters so I’m hoping for something to speed up and change the progression.
Lara is slowly realizing her enemy might not be what she thought they were like. But I’m nervous to see how Aren will find out that she’s been training for years to be a spy. This slow burn has me wanting them him to make a move!
Oh the invisible ink!
The snake island!!!
In chapter 26 I understand the dialogue for the hardships is needed by the spy to explain the politics but it’s just boring. I wish it was summarized instead. I loved the quote: “She has a temper like wildfire, a sharp tongue to go along with it and is as beautiful as clear skies over the Tempest Seas.”
I’m having a hard time visually imagining the detailed environment of the bridge.
Eranahl reminds me of Velaris from ACOTAR
Chapter 37 has so much talk or resources and profit and trade that I almost fell asleep. I don’t care much about that part of stories and it makes it drag.
I don’t like that the very end of the book at chapter 39 starts with “8 weeks later.”
The climatic scene wasn’t who I thought it would be with. Also, Aren’s response is predictable, but frustrating based off the views he pledged to her. Something is missing it’s mark. I simply don’t find their relationship as believable as I want.
The ending felt a bit rushed but also gave me hope. And even though I’m interested in knowing if and how she plans to figure out this problem, I doubt I’m going to read the rest of the trilogy. I have them here and ready from the library but the plot itself was pretty slow for me. The world building was done excellently but I didn’t feel all the feels I wanted to because there was so much politics entwined overall. The characters were deep and the friendships created were realistic, but I didn’t fall in love with her or them as a couple. Because I’m not heartless I still hope they end happily ever after eventually, but it just felt heavy and depressing and slow as a whole. Of all the fantasy books I’ve read this one reminds me the most of ACOTAR however it lacked more of the banter and lightweight scenes to make me root for them more. Even though it got a solid rating, nothing about this story will stand out as memorable to me.
If you want to try out an enemies to lovers with less world building, less violence, and more steam, preorder my Linked Trilogy for March release.