Rating – ⭐️
Genre – young adult/new adult fantasy
I saw the similarities to Sarah J Maas’s books when I first started A Kingdom of Exiles, but I thought I could overlook them. I put aside the little things like the MC being called Serena, and being stolen away by a fae, but then it kinda got ridiculous.
Right so here is a list of the similarities between SJM’s books and this one (from the top of my head):
1. Mating bonds
2. Having a bond that allows the MC to speak mind-to-mind with her bonded
3. Solar Courts
4. The humans and fae being separated by a wall
5. Similar names (e.g Lucian and Abraxos)
6. A whole lotta growling and purring and snapping of teeth
7. Evil fae queen
8. Blood oaths (and blood oaths being forced upon people by the aforementioned evil queen
9. Sensitive fae bat-ish wings that are basically protected at all cost
10. The love interest has green eyes and long-ish blonde hair, isn’t actually the MC’s mate and likes to lock up the MC in his room to protect her (I mean, that’s so painfully Tamlin it’s ridiculous)
11. Territorial fae males (because they are not MEN you see, they are MALES because they are SO MUCH MORE than men)
12. Long lost princesses with magic powers (and a magic necklace)
13. Human turning into fae
14. High stake trials
15. Similar sentences and phrases (“wicked thing” & “I’d want to die” “Stop! don’t ever say that”)
16. Neck biting
Believe it or not, there are actually more similarities I could pull up, but I think you get the idea.
I know that some of the above points are widely used in YA books (long lost princesses and evil queens for example), but I can’t even accurately describe how similar this book is to SJM’s writing. The whole world is basically just a poor man’s Prythian or Erilea.
I also want to say that I absolutely adore Sarah J Maas and her books. Her writing is fabulous, and she can get away with writing about subjects such as mates and mind-to-mind bonds without it being cringeworthy.
The same cannot be said for S. B. Nova.
There were so many times throughout this book where I just cringed so hard. Overused words like “rutting”, phrases like “my bowels turned watery” (ugh), and the fact that their friendship group (think Night Court wannabes) was repeatedly called a “pack”.
Funnily enough, I didn’t even think the insta-love was that bad. I mean, it was there, and it was hella obvious, but the thing that bothered me the most is the whole insta-sibling thing that was going on.
Like, this human girl joins a ‘pack’ one minute, and the next she loves one of the members like a brother (FOR NO FUCKING REASON), can speak into his mind, and is swearing a kin oath thing.
So yeah, the above points are bad enough, but then you take into account that this book is 580 pages long and it’s just soul destroying.