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NetGalley Review: The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten

Hey all, Sam here.

It has been a pretty good weekend so far, and we’ve actually gotten quite a bit done, so I’m looking forward to talking about it all in the next WIP Wednesday post. And I’m hoping to get more reading done, because there are some books I’m REALLY wanting to read…some are ARCs and some are new releases. But a couple of the books I’m excited to read won’t arrive until like Monday or Tuesday, so I don’t know if I’ll get to them in time for the weekly update.

Anyway, today’s review is for a book that I was really looking forward to reading, and I was really excited to be able to snag a physical ARC while at New York Comic Con. Then, shortly after, I ended up being approved for the e-galley on NetGalley. That’s a good way to ensure that I’m going to read the book…to have it in multiple formats.

All right, enough with this rambling intro. Let’s dive into the review.

In this lush, romantic new epic fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Whitten, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.

When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.

Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, but King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.

Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne’er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.

But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I loved reading For the Wolf and immediately added Hannah Whitten to my auto-buy author list. So when I first heard the announcement for The Foxglove King, I was obviously counting down until I’d be able to read it. So it might be interesting to hear that despite getting the ARC at NYCC, I did not pick this up to read it until the past couple days.

I wanted to take my time with this book, to savor it, because I knew I would love it. To me, the writing has a nice flow to it. The descriptions and the characterization and the dialogue all just swept me away. So, I wanted to take my time and enjoy reading this one. I say try, because I definitely failed. Every time I opened the book I’d read at least 70-100 pages. Even trying to take my time it only took a few reading sessions, and just a few hours overall to finish the whole book.

It was lush. It was decadent. I loved the descriptions and the intrigue and the bits of worldbuilding we got. Okay, yes, I’ve turned into such a fan of worldbuilding the past couple years, and so I’ll basically always ask for more information, for more lore and myth and culture and religion and history…give me all the details, and I will enjoy every morsel.

Basically, I already feel like I want to read this book again, and I just might when I get my finished copy, because I really want to see the map for this world. But I want to actually read it slower, to see what details I might have missed by getting so swept away by the opulence and the court politics and the romance and the death magic. Okay, yes, fine, there are so many love triangle stories out there. What makes a love triangle effective to me is when it isn’t completely obvious which romantic interest will be the one chosen in the end. And there is a certain compelling element to Gabriel and Bastian, and of course I enjoy Lore as a main character.

But yes, this book lived up to my expectations, and I’m glad that I have the ARC in my collection, and I’m definitely getting at least the B&N Exclusive Edition because the map is in full color, but I also might see about any other special editions as well. Hannah Whitten is staying on my auto-buy list, and I look forward to seeing what she writes next.

This book will be released March 7th (in the US, at least). That is all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


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