A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy (A River of Royal Blood, #1)
Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of blood and marrow--a dark and terrible magick that hasn't been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina's long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne--because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.
When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye--and it isn't just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa's death or her own.
A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush, ancient North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity.
TITLE: A River of Royal Blood
AUTHOR: Amanda Joy
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books / G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
LENGTH: 351 pages
AGE: Young Adult
Partial Queer Rep Summary: Gay/Achillean Secondary Character(s).
DNF page 169 (50% in).
I almost stopped 25% in, made it halfway then realized I’m not engaged and don’t care what happens next. It has all these pieces I normally like (the appearance of mysterious magic loner mentor helped me get to the halfway mark), but I just don’t understand why the main character is sticking around for the upcoming fight to the death with her sister. I can guess at a justification, but so far the book has provided excellent reasons for her to get out of there and none for going through with it other than that it’s expected.
CW for racism, blood (graphic), self harm, emotional abuse, violence, genocide, death (backstory).