If you love a YA Fantasy that navigates power and sacrifice, then you have to add What We Devour to your TBR. I enjoyed Miller’s previous books Belle Revolte and Mask of Shadows so I was even more intrigued. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
The story of a girl who must tether herself to a violent ruler to save her crumbling world.
Lorena Adler has a secret—she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. She has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. She’s content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.
But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian’s father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So she makes a deal—a fair trial for her betrothed’s father in exchange for her service to the crown.
The prince is desperate for her help. He’s spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile…and he’s losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she’ll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive.
A MC with a found family and a world in which she holds a dangerous power? What more could I want? The world building in What We Devour is amazing. I loved this idea of a forbidden magic but also this magical door which is the only thing which stands between us and the Vile a force which would spell our doom. It’s a multi-faceted world that only gets more intriguing as the story continues.
And throughout What We Devour, our relationship to monstrosity only becomes more complicated. Powers which demand sacrifice, but which become ours by necessity. In a world where our powers and guilt can seal our downfall, What We Devour is about power. How it becomes interwoven with ourselves and also can eat away at ourselves. As Lorena’s world expands – and her knowledge of the power within her – she must figure out the power differentials. The ways in which she has always felt so removed from people’s perceptions of her.
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Faced with a ruling power which doesn’t care about the people around them, the sacrifices, the world of What We Devour is about use. Being used and finding uses for people. We can spend so much of our lives trying to escape something we have never even tried to fix. An element I enjoyed which really blooms towards the end of the book is the inequality inherent in poverty, city planning, and the world. It’s always about defining who we think is worthy to survive and to save – always coming back to privilege. This queer YA fantasy delivers a fascinating world and interesting themes all with an action packed plot. Find What We Devour on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.