Series: The Once and Future Queen #1
Release Date: January 21st 2021
Publisher: One More Chapter
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 2.25/5 stars
In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, two starcrossed lovers fight to ignite the spark of rebellion…
Londinium, the last stronghold of the Romans left in Britannia, remains in a delicate state of peace with the ancient kingdoms that surround it. As the only daughter of a powerful merchant, Cassandra is betrothed to Marcus, the most eligible bachelor in the city.
But then she meets Devyn, the boy with the strange midnight eyes searching for a girl with magic in her blood.
A boy who will make her believe in soulmates…
When a mysterious sickness starts to leech the life from citizens with Celtic power lying dormant in their veins, the imperial council sets their schemes in motion. And so Cassandra must make a choice: the Code or Chaos, science or sorcery, Marcus or Devyn?
An all new fantasy YA trilogy, Secrets of the Starcrossed is a story set in a world in which the Roman Empire has managed to retain a stronghold in Britain, creating the walled city of Londinium and an uneasy peace with the British kingdoms around it. The city has made great advances in technology and science and citizens live strongly by the code and rules in place. Cassandra is the daughter of a wealthy merchant and she is due to marry Marcus Courtenay, but when she helps her classmate avoid trouble for carrying a piece of illegal tech, she discovers there might be more to her past than she originally knew and she might be the lost girl he is searching for.
I really wanted to love this book, I thought the premise was a really intriguing one – what if the Romans had stayed in Britain? I loved the idea of a girl with magic in her blood that had to fight to survive in a city where magic is forbidden but unfortunately this book just didn’t click with me. I wanted to know more about the magic in the world and how it worked and less about the history of the Roman Empire. The story was quite quick paced but I felt at times things were glossed over when they shouldn’t have been and then too much focus was placed on things I was less interested in.
Our main character Cassandra is the spoiled daughter of a wealthy merchant and I found her really difficult to like. She spends most her time shopping and complaining about the love interest in the story. For this reason I really struggled to root for her as a character. The story is also much more romance focused than I would have like and I found the on again off again relationship a bit grating.
I think the premise of this one is a really clever idea and I would be interested to see where O’Connor takes the story but ultimately this book just wasn’t for me. If you love YA fantasy romance stories this could be just the book for you and I’m sure fans of fast paced romance will absolutely devour this one.