Long ago, the goddess Isran granted the power of magic to a human. He in turn passed on the knowledge to other like minded humans. Eventually, he and an ambitious woman named Kayas, united the tribes establishing the Blessed Fire Kingdom, our Kingdom of Camoor.
Malia is the princess and heir to the throne of Camoor. She is the descendent of a long line of powerful Queens who have ruled Camoor for generations. During their reign, they focused on expanding the realm through conquest. Young and naive, she believes in the nobility of this pursuit and that the intentions of the conquests are noble and charitable.
Sabri is a servant in the castle and Malia’s girlfriend. She is also an elf. Their love is more profound than the deepest of oceans but after the war between humans and elves, most of Camoor still resents them. Malia is determined to change this and have Sabri rule by her side. But an unfortunate incident forces the Queen to send Malia on her expedition early.
With her most trusted generals by her side, Malia sets out to prove her prowess in battle through the newly conquered Nadun and into the Uncharted Territory. However, during her quest, Malia bears witness to things that upend her understanding of the world and her place in it. And when tragic news arrives from home, she is forced to decide where her allegiances lie and what she is willing to lose to right the wrongs of the past.
Pros And My Favourite Parts
Barrett has gifted us with a well-crafted fantasy world full of wonderful characters. I loved witnessing Malia’s character growth throughout the novel. She begins the book so naive to the oppression and suffering endured by other cultures, species, and classes (including her own girlfriend, an elf) at the hands of her kingdom. She lives in a bubble of privilege and is unable to see the truths of society until she is forced to leave the castle on her Expedition. When she is brutally awakened to the truth, and forced to examine her own internal biases (in a fabulous twist), she is determined to make it right no matter the cost.
Cons And Heads Up
Heads up for those readers that need an HEA in your reading, you will not find one here. There is a beautiful romance however, and although one of them is killed, their love is what inspires the other do what she must for the sake of the realm.
I have been reading some great fantasy books lately and this is no exception. It has all the great elements and tropes of the genre (chosen one, quests, magic, and so on), but it flips the glorious kingdom narrative and gives us the perspective of the people that never wanted to be part of the kingdom in the first place. Also, there is a brilliant twist that I never saw coming and that always makes me happy.
Excerpt from Sovereign by Arcadian Barrett
She closed her bedroom door and backed into her room. Strong arms wrapped themselves around her waist with a light kiss pressed to the back of her neck. The familiar smell of strawberries enveloped her in warmth.
“This better be who I think it is,” Malia joked as she leaned back into the hug.
“I’ve missed you, marou,” Sabri whispered against her ear, turning Malia around to face her.
“I think I’ve earned more than simply being your mistress,” Malia arched her brow and smirked as she raised her hands to cup Sabri’s cheeks. Sabri groaned as she dropped down dramatically to sit on the edge of their bed. She had been learning to speak High Camoorian even though it was a language only the royal court was legally permitted to learn – the sole exception was for soldiers who learned a piece of scripture recited as a prayer. One of the first laws Malia wanted to pass when she became Queen was to make it permissible to marry elves, and she wanted Sabri to fit in with the rest of the court right away.
Malia laid back on her bed and rested her head in Sabri’s lap and brushed her hand over the purple dress of her servant livery. Unlike most elves, Sabri wore no identifying jewelry on her face even though Malia had often offered to buy her the best that coin could buy. Regardless, her high cheekbones and kind eyes were more than enough to make her stand out in a crowd.
“I’m getting better,” Sabri said, with a toothy grin down at her. “I might even impress you with a whole book of poems in High Camoorian one day.”
“You don’t have to impress me. I’m already quite in love with you, and your future subjects will be, too.”
“And you’re blinded by that love. Humans will never accept me by your side, no matter what I speak.” Sabri sighed out softly.
“But Mother is trying to change public opinion. It’s because of her that they’ve started to allow elves to volunteer as soldiers.”
Sabri brushed her hair away from her face. “Beloved, she isn’t allowing us to be Classed. She’s really just using us for our strength,” Sabri scoffed. “Are you certain you will want to be seen in public with me?”
Malia reached up to push Sabri’s hair behind an ear. She tried to keep her voice soft when she spoke. “I refuse to have you as my mistress. I won’t hide how I feel about you. My people will learn to love you as I do.”
Sabri’s cheeks darkened, grey elf blood filling them. Malia pushed herself to her feet with a grunt. She took Sabri’s hand to help her up and leaned up on the tips of her toes and pressed their lips together in a quick kiss. “I’ll see you tonight,” Malia whispered when they separated.
Sabri brought Malia’s hand to her mouth before slipping out of the room.
Get It Online
When you use the links in this review and buy within 24 hours of clicking then we get a small commission that helps us run the site and it costs you nothing extra
The Sovereign Chronicles
Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9781737379508
Publisher: Crow House Press
If you enjoyed Sovereign by Arcadian Barrett then you should also look at
Note: I received a free review copy of Sovereign by Arcadian Barrett. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site