RATING: Better than expected (3.5) // AMAZON
PAGES: 367 PAGES | PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
*REVIEW COPY PROVIDED BY THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY FOR AN HONEST REVIEW*
The princess didn’t expect to fall in love–with her nemesis.
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 from 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 could save Tarik’s kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?
I’m not the biggest fan of covers with faces on them, but I found this one drew me in immediately. I think it might have been the silver paint covering her whole body and the intricate tattoos. Going into Nemesis, I didn’t realize it drew from Egyptian culture, but the cover makes a lot more sense after that realization.
I loved Anna Banks’s The Syrena Legacy series. Not only was I fascinated by the mythology behind her story, but I had such a great time with her witty characters. Although I read the synopsis before I began Nemesis, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I found the beginning to be a bit slow, but I was completely engrossed into the story by the end and I cannot wait for book 2.
Nemesis follows Princess Sepora, who is the Last Forger in all 5 kingdoms. This means Sepora can create spectorium, which is used as an energy source in this world, but the existence of Forgers is guarded in secrecy. After Sepora learns of her father’s sinister plans involving her power, she runs away to the neighboring kingdom Theoria, a desert land with advanced technology. A few unfortunate incidents and a bit of luck later, Sepora finds herself sold into Theoria’s Falcon King’s harem, leading to an unexpected friendship.
I had trouble with the beginning half of the book because of its slow pace since there was so much world building and background information being explained. I understand Banks was trying to allow readers to understand the dynamics of this world and learn more about our characters, but it felt a little like an information dump at times. Even though I had some complaints, I did find it really interesting to learn about all the different 5 kingdoms, and I’m excited to explore them even more in future books.
Despite the book’s initial slow pace, the entertaining characters were my main motivation to continue reading. Sepora has such a kind heart and the best of intentions. I had a lot of fun reading about her character fighting for justice, especially the rights of women, in the different culture of Theoria. Even though she was extremely kind, she was never afraid to voice her own opinions and stand up for what she believed in, but she could be reckless and impulsive at moments. Tarik became the Falcon King of Theoria after his father’s unexpected demise from an unknown disease with no foreseeable cure. He’s thrust into the position of King, and he’s trying to do his best for his people. Tarik was a genuinely great guy, who was thrust into a position that made him act much older than his age. He had the burdens of an entire kingdom on his shoulders, so it was always nice to see him lighten up around Sepora. Overall I really enjoyed following Sepora and watching her grow and build new relationships.
I found myself to be a bigger fan of Nemesis than I expected, and I’m definitely looking forward to its sequel. Fans of Anna Banks will once again find themselves captivated by her new amusing characters, and I think first-timers will also enjoy this fantastical Egyptian-inspired world. It might be a little slow, but by the end you’ll be wondering where the rest of the book went. I’d recommend Nemesis to fantasy lovers, who are in the mood for a fun read. I constantly had a smile on my face and was always laughing while reading Nemesis, and I believe that’s what made it such an enjoyable read.