Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
Ok full confession, it took me way too long to get into this book just because I hit a reading slump just after I finished chapter 2. But wow this book was so good!
I found the first couple of chapters of this book a little slow but it was world-building and getting to understand Tarisai and her upbringing before we are then whisked off to the capital where she becomes part of the Emperor’s son’s eleven council members.
It is when she becomes anointed to this select few when things start to fall apart as her mother’s third and final wish comes into play, ‘Kill the emperor’s son’. We are with Tarisai as she struggles with the love she has for her siblings and the urge to kill.
I really enjoyed watching Tarisai grow and overcome her mother, it was clear how much she loved her mother but it was really upsetting seeing that her mother was just using her for her own gain.
I also really loved watching her gain a family, that’s all she really wanted. There were times when I just wanted to tell her that she should just tell the truth and be honest with the people she loves because they would still love her.
I thought the world-building and the magic system in this book were so deep and so detailed that it felt real to me like it had actually been in place forever.
I can’t wait to read the next book!