Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.
The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.
Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.
Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.
Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This was an interesting YA fantasy story, with characters named Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo and Juliet were very different characters to what I expected! For a start, Juliet wasn’t even named Juliet, she was The Juliet – her families executioner and thought of more as property than as a daughter. She was pretty kick-ass though, and I really admired her strength and drive. Romeo we didn’t really seem to get that much from, and the main characters in this book were actually Paris and Runajo. Runajo was also very stubborn and strong though, and I liked her too.
“It was risky, and it was probably going to get her killed.
But at least she would die fighting.”
The world in this book was pretty impressive, and we had the threat of the revenants (like zombies), reapers, and necromancers, whilst the romance between Romeo and Juliet was exceptionally small and appeared only in a couple of low key flashbacks. In fact other than the names, this was not your average retelling at all.
“He’s working with somebody called the Master Necromancer.”
We than had one of our main characters Runajo trying to save the city from the threat of the revenants beyond the walls, at possibly any cost, even if it took stopping Juliet from dying, and taking them on one at a time to find out what magic really protected the city.
“Even here is Viyara, behind the walls, the dead would rise again within two days, mindless and hungry for the living.”
The book did jump about between the girls and the boys though, which made things a bit tougher to follow, and again, the romance was practically non-existent, with Romeo and Juliet spending the entire book apart except for the occasional flashback.
“I will always do what is right, and not what my family tells me.”
The ending to this was pretty good, and it will be interesting to see how the story ends in the second instalment.
7 out of 10