Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon- ARC Review

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame. 

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her. 

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself. (taken from Amazon)

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book, in exchange for an honest review. This will be available to purchase on October 29th.

I found this book really enjoyable. The setup wasn’t all that original- girl having to provide for her sibling , sacrificing her innocence in the process. Relationship drama with monetary, as well as class, obstacles to overcome. However, this was still a fun read.

Kammani is a healer, which I always find interesting in fantasy books, where the main character is often a fighter of some sort. It allows for a different character development and a sense of compassion, which adds something I think. I liked Kammani quite a bit, although every now and again I wanted to shake her. Her sister, on the other hand…wow, she was a selfish idiot. I really hated any part of the book with her in it. Of course, there’s also ye random hunky dude. I thought he was rather one-dimensional, but it didn’t detract from the rest of the story all that much.

There’s a whole “who’s the villain?” thing happening during part of the book. I felt that it was rather obvious but, again, this also didn’t detract from the book. Oddly enough, as I write this, I start noticing that there were several tropes that usually bug me. The writing just flowed well enough that it covered up most faults. Sometimes a book is just the right one at a specific time…I think this was one of those situations. I really needed a fun read that didn’t wring me out too much emotionally.

This was engaging, and I like that it’s a duology instead of a long-running series. I think the second book will be better than the first, now that the setup and the world have been established. I’d suggest this as a perfect read on a day when you just need a break from the usual routine.

7 thoughts on “Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon- ARC Review

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