Book Review – Of Rioters and Royals

Title: Of Rioters and Royals (Swift Shadows Book #1)

Author: M. L. Greye

Publisher: Kindle

Publication Date: January 18, 2019

421 pages


Goodreads Synopsis

Emry is a Royal – a princess of Enlennd. As is tradition, she must have a knight at her side as her protector. The only way to appoint one is through The Trials. Her Challengers from the five regions of Enlennd must compete for the infamous title of Princess’s Knight. The problem, though, is that the people of Enlennd are split into two categories: Rioters and Royals. Finding the perfect knight may be the last of her worries. War is coming to Enlennd. 

Declan is a Rioter. An upriser. An anarchist. He mistrusts the Jewels – the sovereign family of Enlennd. Yet, he is offering himself up as a Challenger in The Trials. The Mistress, leader of the Rioters, has a mission for him. The first step is for him to become the Princess’s Knight. He is ready for the task, until he actually meets Emry and discovers that betraying her would be much more difficult than he’d thought. 


Good afternoon, book friends! The author of this book reached out to me on Instagram to offer an ebook copy of Of Rioters and Royals in exchange for an honest review and Instagram feature. Opinions listed are my own.

Friends, I loved this book. Greye started off the book with a deep dive into the history of the world she built, and even though as I was reading it I was less than interested (history in books can be a bit dry), it became REALLY helpful as the book continued on. She has a really diverse magic system and you can tell she took the time to really think through the world and magic system.

Basically, your abilities are dependent on the color of your eyes – and not just normal eye colors. You’ve got Teal, Purple, Orange, Red, Black, and even Silver. You have a base color and can have flecks of other colors. Your base color is your main ability, but the flecks can give you lesser abilities. I think it’s a pretty neat idea and worked well in execution.

The world is a kingdom ruled by The Jewels, each member of the royal family is named after a precious jewel. Emry’s real name is Emerald, her sister is Citrine, and her father is Onyx (you get the gist). The Jewels have five regions in their kingdom, however one has been at odds with them for a long time. Anexia contains a sect of people called Rioters, who looks to dispose the royal family. They have a plan… to kidnap Princess Emerald by having Declan be a Challenger in what is called The Trials. The Trials are put on by the monarchs to find the ultimate protector for the Princess, and Declan looks to prove himself in the Rioters organization and to the mysterious Mistress who runs the group.

This book kept me on my toes for real. There was such a subtle level of foreshadowing, where you could kind of guess where the twists may lie without being too sure. It was a good balance, which is something I look for in a book. I like to be able to see twists coming, but it is very fun to be surprised. I picked up on most of the foreshadowing, but there was one point that really threw me for a loop (no spoilers) and I’m still thinking about it.

One critique I would have is about how the love story came about. It felt too fast and forced in the moment. You knew it was coming of course, but it went from 0-100 real quick without much transition or thought on either part. I also wish The Trials had been more of a central part of the book – I felt they ended pretty quickly. I get why, I just feel like I wanted more from it. For these reasons, I docked it down to a 4.25 read.

Overall, I would definitely suggest adding it to your Kindle TBR – and I will definitely be reading the rest of the trilogy to find out what happens to my precious Emry and Dec. Their characters were very well fleshed out, and if there’s one thing I love – it’s a strong, female character that is complemented by her man, not the other way around.

If you like magic, rebellions, twists and turns you don’t see coming, and epic love stories – this will be the book for you. Greye has a level of depth to her writing that makes you want to be a part of the world and story. I’m still trying to figure out what color I would want my eyes to be…

Until the next, my friends! (which is indeed a a quote from the book!)

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