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July 2, 2021

What We Devour by Linsey Miller ~ a Review

by MK French


Lorena Adler hides that she holds the power of the banished gods inside her. She plans to remain hidden and work as an undertaker, marrying her best friend Julian. When his father is arrested by the Vile Crown Prince, he recognizes Lorena's true nature. In order to get Julian's father a fair trial, she has to work with the Prince to repair the Door that holds back the Vile. But the price of doing so is horrific that she must embrace her true heritage in order to survive.

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What We Devour
July 2021; Sourcebooks Fire; 978-1492679257
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); YA fantasy
The magic system here is fascinating. Generations ago, the people literally devoured the gods responsible for the Noble (healing, creation) and Vile (destruction) forms of magic and banished them behind a Door of impenetrable magic. However, keeping it closed requires sacrifices. Literally. Using that magic requires sacrifices: blood, flesh, pain, or memories. Those who possess Vile magic, the vilewrought, are shunned, while noblewrought are welcomed for their healing or fabrication abilities. The Crown will control that magic "for the good of the country," whatever the council of nobles and Crown decide. This of course leads to sharp class divides, and a society that accepts pain is a natural state of being to ensure survival. In this world, Lorena's desire to save her future father-in-law and adopted hometown is unfathomable nobility.

Life in the capital is tinged with secrecy, as Lorena's magic wasn't constrained and she isn't bound by traditional contracts. She draws the attention of the Crown, a frightening prospect, and of course, the plan of action afterward has its own complications. As the book progresses, Lorena has to confront the fact that a lot of what she knew is false, and that people aren't who they seem to be. Even she is capable of more than she thought and has to consciously think about who and how many people would be acceptable sacrifices to the Door to save the rest of the country. It's certainly a difficult dynamic to consider, and a terrible position to be in. They're racing against the clock to the Door opening on its own, ramping up the tension as we go.

Buy What We Devour at Amazon


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 

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1 comments:

  1. I have to say that this one fell a little flat for me. I wanted excitements, but the pacing was slow and the story a little dull. What did you think of it?

    ReplyDelete

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