Published by Skyscape
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Add to: Goodreads
He wanted a warrior queen. He got a revolutionary.
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.
I was nervous to read this one because it seemed there were a lot of very mixed reviews on it but I’m happy that I took a chance and read it!
This book had an interesting storyline with a girl who is an orphan being chosen to battle to be a King’s hundredth bride, the last one he can have. The girl, Kalinda, has never felt like anything special, she has never been a strong fighter and she doesn’t feel she is anything special to look at. The king is determined to have her though and makes his captain of the guard bring her from her remote mountain home to the palace. While this part of the story is a little insta-love between Kalinda and the captain of the guard, Deven, I did like it. Kalinda has never been allowed to see a man before so when she first sets eyes on a buff guard who is handsome how can you blame the girl for being interested!? I would like to think that all of us would be staring and have an interest in getting to know such a rough and rugged man. I really liked how Deven wanted to make her comfortable on the journey to the palace and was willing to do anything to protect her. Along this journey we learn that Kalinda has rare fire magic that she never knew she had which just takes everything up a notch.
I really enjoyed all of the stuff that happened in the palace as well because Kalinda had to decide for the first time in her life who she was going to be and how she was going to fight for her place in this world. I loved that the world she was thrown into was messed up. I liked that the author didn’t hide things and really showed how one man, even a King, having so many wives, kids and mistresses would work. Not all of the women were treated with respect and I liked that they wanted to rebel and fight for their right to be the last wife instead of Kalinda. I enjoyed how ruthless the girls were in order to escape the things the King made them do for other men of the court. I liked how they were this whole force opposing the wives. It made it so there was danger, drama and mystery.
Overall, I don’t want to spoil everything that happens in this shorter fantasy book. I just have to say I really liked Kalinda and Deven. I enjoyed watching them support and fight for each other while under the King’s nose. I loved the system of magic and what that meant in their world. I really enjoyed this book because it was an easy romantic fantasy book to get lost in. While I do not feel it was groundbreaking or overly special I do feel it has room to grow and I can’t wait to see after that ending where the characters will go and what they will do.