Today I bring you a short and sweet review for a short and not so sweet book!
The past never forgets...
Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer's apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.
Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.
When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer… one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.
Year of the Reaper is inspired by the plague and some specific events in history at this time. I thought going in that it would be an intense book to read due to the heavy topic of inspiration, but I found myself flying through it.
The writing was very easy to read and kept me connected and invested throughout. It does of course have the heaviness of a story that follows characters living in the aftermath of the plague, but I thought the author handled this well, and whilst she didn’t shy away from the gory details it’s still a YA book, so it wasn’t overwhelming.
I enjoyed the characters; the MC is a male which I rarely read so it was a nice change. He had a tough journey, but I loved seeing him evolved throughout the book and slowly heal from his experiences. There were a whole cast of characters that I really enjoyed reading, each unique and brought a different dynamic to the book. Our romantic interest (very light romance) was fun and endearing and brought a warmth to the story. Bittor also really amused me which again brought a needed lightness to a story surrounded by death.
The plot was compelling, it was a mystery type plot centre around finding the suspicious murderer who leaves taunts to the Queen. It was a relatively short book, so the story was fast paced and easy to read. The plot wrapped up nicely and came to a satisfying ending for all the characters.
It was light on romance (one kiss if that) but it was there as the friendship grew. A great fantasy reimagining of what the aftermath of the plague would have been like coupled with a compelling mystery/ capture the murderer type plot.
Overall I did enjoy this book a lot more than I was expecting and I found myself invested in the characters and found the setting very compelling. For a short standalone book I was impressed that it managed to grab my attention and pull me into it so much!
Rating: 4 Stars