cover image The Ashes & the Star-Cursed King

The Ashes & the Star-Cursed King

Carissa Broadbent. Bramble, $29.99 (608p) ISBN 978-1-250-34315-4

Broadbent completes her Nightborn Duet duology (after The Serpent and the Wings of Night) with a satisfying if somewhat overlong resolution to the political turmoil within the House of Night and the relationship between its two fated heirs. Half-vampire Oraya of the Hiaj is still reeling in the wake of her father’s death at the hands of her lover, Turned vampire Raihn of the Rishan, who has tenuously assumed the throne of the House of Night. Publicly, Oraya is Raihn’s captive queen, but privately he seeks her sincere allyship. As Raihn struggles to establish his authority both within the House of Night and with the vampires of the other houses, Oraya attempts to learn more about her father’s legacy and her own power. She discovers that, through her blood connection to her father, she’s able to use several of his magical artifacts and may be able to access his grandest treasure, the captured blood of a dead god. Broadbent builds realistic and gripping tension as Raihn and Oraya navigate the roles of rivals, lovers, and potentially co-rulers. While the first installment was delivered primarily through Oraya’s point of view, here Broadbent alternates between Raihn and Oraya, giving readers a deeper sense of Raihn and supporting a pivot toward stronger romance. There’s plenty here to sink one’s teeth into. (June)