Today I’m bringing you a mini guest review. As you know, I cannot review all the books I want to – I’m just one person – so sometimes I work with guest reviewers! So I’m so happy to be able to pair up and deliver more reviews (and mini ones) to you all! Keep reading this book review for a change of pace.
When the death of Iron Queen Sarelin Brey fractures the realm of Elira, Lysande Prior, the palace scholar and the queen’s closest friend, is appointed Councillor. Publically, Lysande must choose the next monarch from amongst the city-rulers vying for the throne. Privately, she seeks to discover which ruler murdered the queen, suspecting the use of magic.
Resourceful, analytical, and quiet, Lysande appears to embody the motto she was raised with: everything in its place. Yet while she hides her drug addiction from her new associates, she cannot hide her growing interest in power. She becomes locked in a game of strategy with the city-rulers – especially the erudite prince Luca Fontaine, who seems to shift between ally and rival.
Further from home, an old enemy is stirring: the magic-wielding White Queen is on the move again, and her alliance with a traitor among the royal milieu poses a danger not just to the peace of the realm, but to the survival of everything that Lysande cares about.
In a world where the low-born keep their heads down, Lysande must learn to fight an enemy who wears many guises… even as she wages her own battle between ambition and restraint.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Councillor explores the concept of power, privilege and wealth in a medieval setting. From the perspective of Lysande, you are experiencing first hand the struggles of someone not born into nobility and how she stands in contrast to the other rulers. Each of the main characters is well defined and has unique motivation and character quirks, which makes the overall story feel alive and believable. I even rooted for Lysande and tried to figure out who would backstab the other rules next.
The drug addiction mentioned in the synopsis didn’t have any significant impact on the story. I’m not sure why it is even mentioned, but it might be a setup for a sequel. Aside from that, I enjoyed the book a lot. The overall themes reminded me a bit of the animated Avatar series and a light version of Game of Thrones.