The Curse of Saints by Kate Dramis – ARC Review!

Has she been sent to save the realm or destroy it?

As Spymaster to the Queen, Aya’s blood oath ensures she protects those she fights alongside – including Will, the Queen’s Enforcer and Aya’s bitter rival.

When rumors of dark magic rise in a nearby kingdom, both are sent to investigate.

But when Aya’s power acts beyond her gods-given affinity, she risks being turned into a weapon in a war she doesn’t know how to win.

And when her relationship with Will unexpectedly shifts, neither knows the danger that will follow . . .

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It contained almost everything I love, exquisite world building, brilliantly brought to life characters, peak enemies to lovers romance and plenty of twists and turns to keep us guessing. I feel like it’s a hard book to sum up without giving away spoilers, so I’m just going to jump straight into my review.

The Curse of Saints is told from three POV’s; Aya, a Spymaster and one of the most powerful Visya (someone who can use magic) in the Country. She is someone who carries a weight around with her, something that drags her down, makes her feel unworthy and never truly allows her to reach her full potential. Deadly, filled with snark and definitely more likely to kick ass first, ask questions later, she is a character that I instantly bonded with.

Will is another Visya, though his magic is different to Aya’s. These two have been arch nemesis’s ever since they were children and they carry a lot of baggage between them. Will is someone that, despite getting his POV, we’re never sure if we can truly trust. He’s broken in so many ways, and puts on a facade that he thinks will keep the people he loves safe and similarly to Aya is not afraid of a fight or a little snark.

Our final POV is that of Aidon, the Prince of a neighbouring Kingdom. His POV doesn’t crop up for the first bit of the book, but it is so pivotal to the overall story. Aidon is someone who will get the crown thanks to his birthright, but he doesn’t want to rule, not truly. He is someone who has a complicated relationship with the people he loves, and another character that we spend a good portion of the book wondering if we can trust. Alongside these, Dramis gives us a well built cast of side characters who I adored, especially Tova, the third member of the Queen court and Josie, Aidon’s sister. Every single character has a part to play in this story and Dramis does a fantastic job of keeping us on our toes, wondering who is truly a friend and who is an enemy.

Aya and Will come from the Kingdom of Tala, a place where the old God’s are still revered and where those who can use their powers, Visya, are seen as almost holy. Dramis does a brilliant job of bringing her world of life, giving us the perfect amount of history and knowledge to feel in the know, and I loved learning about every single bit, but especially the different types of Visya and what their powers could do. There were more elemental types who could affect, fire or water or earth as well as those like Aya and Will whose powers had control over the mind, rather than an element. Everything was developed incredibly well, without any info dumps, and Dramis gave us just enough foreshadowing the ensure we hit ourselves for not seeing the big twist coming.

Speaking of twists, Dramis gives them to us in folds throughout this story, but they are all perfectly placed as well as foreshadowed. Her writing style was lush & descriptive and instantly envelops you into the story. I especially enjoyed the parts of the story were we got to see the Visya powers in full force, be it in training or in battle. Also, if you’re a lover of a good animal sidekick this book has wolves! Though they do play a small part in the overall story & I would have liked to see them a little more. I would definitely call this a fantasy romance, but it’s one of the few I’ve read where the author actually gives as much attention to the fantasy part as they do to the romance, and like I mentioned we get a wide depth of world building, along side the wondrously slow burn, enemies to lovers romance Dramis treats us to.

And now for the romance… it was absolute peak enemies to lovers, these characters hated each other, but also had the knowledge of how to truly hurt one another that only comes with spending as much time together as they did. It was filled with drama, wondrously slow burn and definitely a little spicy in parts and I lived for every single second. If you’re a fan to enemies to lovers where one character would burn the world to the ground to save the other, then this is 100% the book for you. There was a slight love triangle, but if I’m being honest, there was only going to ever be one winner, so it never truly bothered me, in fact it added a little more tension to the scenes between our two characters which I adored. Their story was filled with snark, mutual trauma and as much as they threatened to kill each other, they both had more in common than they realised.

I well and truly adored this book! Dramis ends the story so incredibly well. I wouldn’t say it was a true, OMG I can’t believe you ended it there, cliffhanger, but there was still plenty more to be developed and plenty of plot lines that hadn’t been tied up, and that epilogue… that epilogue nearly killed me. Safe to say I will be begging for a copy of book two as soon as I can get my grabby hands on it.

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