Book Reviews

Review: Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier

I am consistently impressed with Lucier’s talent to blend mystery and fantasy. And Year of the Reaper is no exception. Featuring a historian and soldier trying to unravel a mystery which had be gasping, Year of the Reaper is superb. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Year of the Reaper entranced me. This YA fantasy blends a mystery assassination attempt. I could not stop reading because I was obsessed with the breadcrumbs Lucier dropped. I’ve never guessed a twist in a book, and this was never more true for Year of the Reaper. I actually screeched aloud. There’s a phenomenal sense of pacing and reveals which make Year of the Reaper impossible to put down.

I could go on and on about how absorbed I was in the mystery. It’s one of those stories where I felt drawn into a web of coincidences and secrets. Watching the pieces click into place and the mystery unfold, I felt like I was watching one of those investigative series in front of my eyes. But it wouldn’t be complete without my love of Cas and Lena. They create this compelling and empathetic foundation for the entire story to be built.

Not only does Cas seem like a gruffy and sort of prickly character on the outside, it’s quickly apparent how caring he is. His return to home, especially after his traumatic past, is shocking and to add the mystery, he’s forced to re-immerse himself into his old life. Haunted by scars, I was unsure how I’d feel about Lena, but I fell in love with her from the beginning. She’s a ray of sunshine who is not only full of curiosity and cleverness, but a genuine desire to help.

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Their interactions and banter was amazing particularly in how they allowed each other to unfold. The entirety of their character dynamic is fabulous. And what a great crime fighting duo they make! Don’t even get me started on how rich and descriptive the side characters are! All in all, Year of the Reaper is an immersive and gripping read. Find Year of the Reaper on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite fantasy mystery?

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