Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.
Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.
Sepora’s gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?
When I got this book in my Fairyloot box, the synopsis drew me so much that I decided to start reading it immediately.
Unlike most of Anna’s fans, I’m in love with the cover. I like the use of colours and the overall Roman like style of it. It gives off a warrior vibe and -next to the synopsis- that drew me to the book. I was very excited about the story but it did not live up to my expectations, sadly enough.
Nemesis is a new novel by Anna Banks who is famous for her Syrena Legancy trilogy. I haven’t yet read those but since I heard great things about that bookseries, I was stoked to begin with Nemesis.
It’s about a princess of Serubel who is the last Forger in the realm. Instead of Forging magic or anyting alike, she can produce a valuable chemical called Spectorium. It’s a substance that can light up the dark and radiates energy, and since Sepora is the last one who can produce such a thing, the Spectorium is lucrative product.
Her father, the king of Serubel, therefore uses his daughter as his personal machine and has high demands of her. Demands that she can’t meet and so she flees for enemy territory to live among slaves.
But things don’t go easy for Sepora. On her way to the slaves of Theoria she comes across two thugs who mean to sell her at the Bazaar in Theoria’s capitol city. Any escape routes are too dangerous and with a Lingot -someone who can spy lies from truth- among the thugs, there’s no way she can hide her thoughts.
At the Bazaar she’s sold to Lord Sethos. A brother to the king who places her in King Tarik’s harem. But with a continuous need to forge Spectorium the harem is a dangerous place to be. It’s too close to her father’s enemy. Sepora needs to escape and quick too before anyone recognizes her or witnesses her forging.
It’s then that she falls into the attention of the King and this attention might grow into something much more dangerous.
There are so many things that I like about this book but it wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with it. Nemesis has a huge potential. It’s got an amazing world, great characters and the suggestion that there could be so much more that was left unexplored in this installment BUT…. to me, it never even showed a sign of growth.
When I began this book I had to quickly become adjusted to the tense it was written in. Most of the books I’ve read are written in a past tense. This book is written in the present tense. Like full on Present Simple which felt like it was all fact. Every single thing that happened in the story felt like a fact. Even the descriptions by one character about the emotions of another.
It felt off.
Yet, that’s not what kept me from fully enjoying the book. I overlooked the tense but the further I got into the story, the more I felt disappointment about where we were headed with it.
Reading the story from two POVs creates room for so much plot and world-building but it seemed as if nothing was ever delved into. Anna does establish a history for the creation of the 5 kingdoms and there’s some mythic animals but there’s little to no description about the lay-out of the world. There’s no map and no visuals other than what we’re told very early on in the book. We know what the countries trade in, who they trade with and where tension lies but I had a hard time visualizing its people, its cities and its cultures.
The story only scratches the surface of something potentially great.
The same goes for the characters. Sepora is a courageous girl but every action she does lacks thought and emotion. Besides her there’s Tarik who should make for an interesting character since he has to become King at the age of 18 but his thought process is one-dimensional. It’s too easy and without any emotion or reasoning that makes sense.
I guess I just miss the action and the drama or something alike. There’s little to no retribution for Sepora’s actions other than Tarik’s need as king to punish her for devying him and even then he ends up doing nothing and granting her everything.
The romance in the book felt grey to me too. There was no chemistry between Tarik and Sepora….
I just…. I just really wanted to love this book but I don’t.
I don’t dislike it either. It just didn’t match my expectations.
I rated this book 3 out 5 stars. I rated it three because of the potential it holds. It’s part of a series so there’s still room for it to grow and delve deeper into the story.