ARC review: Land of Strength and Sorrow by Cassandra Fear

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Princess Jovi has led a sheltered life within the walls of King Ryan’s castle. Though she longs for adventure, she’s bound to her duties, allowed to do little more than study and prepare herself to one day take over the kingdom. All that changes when the Frost Mages attack in retribution for a decades-old curse brought on by Jovi’s father. Given the opportunity to reverse the curse and save her kingdom, Jovi jumps at the chance to leave the confines of the castle and finally experience some adventure. What she gets, though, might be a bit more than she’s bargained for.

To start, I’d like to talk about how much I enjoyed the setting. Orendor is a beautifully constructed world of mountains and waterfalls with magical creatures running about. It has sorceresses and mages that fight with both fire and ice. There are potions and curses and it’s all very exciting.

The book also has a number of good characters. While I found myself wanting to hate the Frost Mages for the war that they brought to the castle, I found myself warming up even to their king by the end of the book. I also found the Fire Mages really intriguing and enjoyed seeing the battles between the two sides.

With all of that said, unfortunately, I didn’t love this book. That doesn’t mean that I thought it was bad – I didn’t – I just had some trouble getting into it.  Part of that might be because I don’t read a lot of fantasy anymore. I’ve been focusing a lot more on contemporaries lately, but I can almost guarantee that someone who reads a lot of fantasy would enjoy this more.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

I received a free copy of Land of Strength and Sorrow from the author in exchange for my honest review.