Series: Fallen Empire #1
Author: Grace Draven
Format: paperback, 384 pages
Published: September 25th, 2018 by Ace
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.
Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.
But this year is different.
Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.
To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.
Draven’s writing shines in Phoenix Unbound, a well executed high-fantasy romance reminiscent of Vaughn’s Warprize.
Azarion sees Gilene for who she really is, a servant of the fire goddess. And he uses her. Its one of those situations where there is no good choice and your heart aches for both of them. But Azarion does have honor, he protects Gilene and fulfills his promises to her.
Gilene fulfilled her yearly duty and sacrificed herself to the empires demand for a woman to represent her village and burn at the stake. Gilene lives year after year because of her ability to call fire. It’s this magical ability that Azarion uses to escape from the capital. And there you have it, a friends to lovers tale.
That makes their love story sound simple but it is anything but. Azarion and Gilene have to dodge patrols and travel through enemy territory. They battle the supernatural and face dieties. In short, Draven will astound you with her world building and ability to make you feel Azarion and Gilene’s emotions.
Phoenix Unbound is fantasy romance at its finest and lucky for us this is book one in the Fallen Empire series. Don’t miss this book!