“You belong to the new Inkasisa…A way of life we were never invited to share.”Isabel Ibañez
I received an early copy from the publisher for review.
Ximena Rojas is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the Illustrian princess Catalina. A Llacsan usurper, Atoc, has taken over the thrown by means of violence that killed Ximena’s parents and left Catalina as the last Illustrian royal. The Illustrians and the Llacsans have never known peace, and Ximena has no intention of changing that. Until, however, she’s taken by Llacsan guards to be Atoc’s wife. In enemy territory, Ximena learns the Llascan’s side of history and sees that not everything was as it seemed. Ximena must put aside her revenge if there is to ever be peace in her country. But that would require turning her back on Catalina, her Condesa and best friend. But this may be one sacrifice she has to make.
I really enjoyed this one! There were a lot of tropes I love in this book, such as a the decoy princess and concealed identities of other characters in the book. I thought the magic was really unique, and I loved seeing it. I really liked Ximena as a main character and seeing her character development. This book has it’s flaws, but I still enjoyed it so much and it was so fascinating to see a Bolivian-inspired fantasy world. Also, the food described always made me hungry.
I think what I enjoyed seeing the most was Ximena getting to learn the other side of the tensions between the Illustrians and Llacsans. The political system mirrored real life history, and it’s always something I enjoy seeing in Fantasy.
The main issue I had with this book was the romance. I’m generally pretty picky with romances I like, especially in YA. To me there was no chemistry between Ximena and her love interest, and a few of the romantic moments between them felt off or misplaced to me. I felt like it could’ve been done better or not at all. Also, I wasn’t exactly settled on the ending of this book if it’s to be a standalone. There was one major issue that wasn’t fully resolved. I hear there’s going to be a companion novel to this story, so I’m thinking the issue I have in mind may be settled in that book.
Overall, I highly enjoyed this one and I’m looking forward to more books the author puts out in the future!