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  • Great historical fantasy!

    Gravemaidens is the first in a historical fantasy duology set in ancient Sumer. It is a world in which tradition is deeply embedded into the very fabric of society, amd with it, the corruption of power. When the ruler dies in this world, three maidens are chosen to voyage with him into the Netherworld, to become queens in the next life. This is considered to be of the highest honor, although it too is fraught with corruption. For those on the fringes of society, it can be a boon for the honor of a family. But sometimes maidens are chosen based on the wealth of their families, who frequently offer riches for the honor of their daughter’s choosing. But Kammami, whose sister has been chosen, soon discovers that not everything is as it seems, or should be. And this knowledge puts her in great danger. Gravemaidens is definitely a page-turner, with good pacing that keeps a reader engrossed in the story. The world building was so well done that I felt as if I were present. And I definitely enjoyed the characters, the good and the bad. However, I didn’t love parts of Kammami’s story. There were moments when I felt like she jumped to conclusions without much evidence. As an intelligent woman, that seemed out of character for her. She made great leaps of assumption sometimes that seemed weak at best sometimes. On top of that, while I appreciated the mystery aspects to it, it was very obvious from early on “whodunit.” I wish there had been a little more surprise to that. But all of that being said, I did enjoy the book and am looking forward to Warmaidens, coming December 2020. My recommendation: If you like a high-stakes, historical fantasy with a richly built world, give Gravemaidens a try!

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  • Wonderful World Building

    I've been looking forward to this book for a while, and this was definitely a strong debut. The world and concept are fantastically realized, and the writing style is lovely. I had no trouble falling into the world and its lore. The backstory for the main characters led to the main plot of the story, which I truly adored. For the main story however, I picked out the twist fairly early and it was a little obvious. As far as the characters, I found many of them to be complex and layered. They seemed like "real" people. I have soft spots in my heart for Nasu and Nin Amira, and Dagan is one of the sweetest book boyfriends I've ever encountered. However, I had a couple gripes with the main ladies. I found Nanaea to be quite selfish (her motives are later revealed and understood, however), Ilanti to be far too abrasive and reckless, then passing it off as no big deal when it was a storyline that REALLY needed to be explored and not forgiven. As for Kammani... I'm a little torn. When she wasn't speaking, I found her thoughts to be compelling. But whenever she spoke, I found her to be cold and cruel and aggressive against her friends. I also was not a fan of how she treated Dagan, who adores her. Still, there is a chance for a great arc, and I hope her behaviour is rectified in the second book. Also, as with her sister, her motives stem from pain and inner turmoil, but it was too much for me. Gripes aside, I truly did enjoy this story and world, and would love to see it continued. With its beautiful writing, this is a stellar debut that promises a fantastic career.

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    This is now one of my all time favorite book, i would reccomend for teens. 5 stars, written beautifully Gravemaidens was a book i could not put down!

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