Romance, Tragedy, & Fate
Amilia is the protagonist of the story. She's tough, has a tragic backstory, and finds a mate when she least expects it. Vladimir is the king of all vampires. He's stoic, compassionate, and trying to find someone who loves him. It's a classic recipe for a paranormal romance that would make any vampire lover swoon.
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The plot of the story is one that generally readers gravitate towards: the tough magical heroine and the powerful alpha-dominant male. However, while reading the story, I didn't feel as though Vladimir was as domineering as he should've been. He's the king after all and instead of asserting himself as a king should, he tends to let his newfound mate walk all over him. It's safe to say that Amilia wears the pants in this relationship.
SPOILER - When they first meet at the ball, Amilia rejects him and then goes so far as to almost murder him before she can even comprehend why this is all happening in the first place. She's quick to anger which leads to difficulty within communication between her and Vladimir. It feels like a relationship where you're constantly walking on egg-shells because Amilia is so emotional and dramatic.
While these traits aren't typically a deal breaker, Amilia doesn't exude that she deserves someone like Vladimir in her life. He's compassionate, kind, forgiving, and extremely patient with this girl. Even after almost murdering the king of their entire kind, it's swept under the rug. In other worlds, that's considered treason and punishable by death, regardless if you're their loved ones or not. While I understand this story may not follow the same rules as others, it's still a very strange situation.
A tragic past does not warrant special treatment in the future and that kind of seems where the novel is going. I would like to see more of emotional growth with Amilia because at this point, I can't relate to her and I'm halfway through the book. It's hard because I want to let myself feel for her, to cry with her, but her actions are inconsistent and rather violent, especially towards the people she loves. Or says she loves. She's even threatened her brother Caspian, the sweetest character, multiple times. Now Caspian is a character who deserves a mate!
Unfortunately, it makes me feel that Amilia is a lost cause. The way she treats the characters around her who are just trying to help her makes me actually hate her. I don't think this was the author's intention but Amilia's sweetness is severely overshadowed by her rudeness and penchant for violence against anyone who so much as looks at her the wrong way. It's a very displeasing quality in the heroine we're all supposed to be rooting for.
On the other hand, our male lead is much more accommodating and pleasing to see. He's sensitive to her needs and worships the very ground she walks on all while completely ignoring the fact she's flawed. While I commend Vladimir for his strength to endure Amilia's abuse of him, it also makes him look like a doormat. As a king, you'd expect a little respect from your subjects and Amilia has none to offer, that is until she actually gets to know him a little bit, but even then, it's minimal.
I also wanted to mention the writing style of the author. While some live and breathe by 1st person present tense, I'm a little opinionated about it because I feel like it doesn't flow as well as speaking in a past tense and has the tendency to sound rather choppy in certain areas. While I'm not basing my review on this fact at all, I just wanted to point it out that the flow was a little disruptive in areas.
While the characters were going places, I would've liked to see a little more description with the scenery and background. For a vampire kingdom, I want to know what all that looks like.besides the mention of a castle. I want to immerse myself in their realm and learn more about the culture of their subjects.
I'm giving this book a 3 star rating based on several factors. The first one, is that I would've liked to see more description of the vampire kingdom and their culture. If we're going to create new rules for vampire lore then we should get an explanation for why that is. The second being that while the author tries to give the characters depth through background stories and by letting us peer into their mind, it falls a little short of expectations. Tragedies don't define the character, their actions that they take to survive afterwords do. You can reveal a lot about a character not just through their thoughts but also their their relationships with the people around them - it's all about the dialogue. Thirdly, Amelia, the story's protagonist, doesn't have much in the way of redeeming qualities. She needs to have a softer, more vulnerable side as well that's not specifically rooted to the fact she has a mate now or Caspian just saying she has a heart of gold. I need to know WHY she has that heart of gold, because at this point, it just sounds like people are making excuses for her. Lastly, while this can certainly be fixed later in the future, just like my rating, editing is needed throughout the book. There were more grammatical mistakes than I would like to see and sometimes made it confusing to read. While a few mistakes are fine, it shouldn't get to the point where you're taken out of the story by them.
I don't intend for my words to be harsh or offend, but I do want to see your book do well because I think you have the makings of a supernatural fantasy world that has the potential to be fully immersive for other readers, and some of them already find it that way! I just think that it could be even better :)