eARC Review – Luminous by Mara Rutherford


Title: Luminous

Author: Mara Rutherford

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Publication date: October 5th, 2021

384 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A witch who must learn to harness her power–or risk losing her loved ones forever.

Liora has spent her life in hiding, knowing discovery could mean falling prey to the king’s warlock, Darius, who uses mages’ magic to grow his own power. But when her worst nightmare comes to pass, Darius doesn’t take her. Instead, he demands that her younger sister return to the capital with him. To make matters worse, Evran, Liora’s childhood friend and the only one who knows her secret, goes missing following Darius’s visit, leaving her without anyone to turn to.

To find Evran and to save her sister, Liora must embrace the power she has always feared. But the greatest danger she’ll face is yet to come, for Darius has plans in motion that will cause the world to fall into chaos–and Liora and Evran may be the only ones who can stop him.


Luminous is a dark YA fantasy about a country where witches are hunted by the King’s top warlock Lord Darius to either be used or killed. Liora has been hiding her magical powers from her small village since her powers kicked in, and she isn’t even sure what her powers are. Witchcraft in this world takes many forms and is very unique, like one witch can bring her woven tapestries and items to life. When Lord Darius tries to take the weaving too far, Liora is left to clean up the mess after she is discovered.

This book was really suited to the structure of a standalone. There was no plot rushing but no slow moments either, everything gets tied up well at the end without is seeming forced or too quick of a resolution. There’s a large cast of characters and a main romance. Lord Darius reminds me a lot of the Darkling from Shadow and Bone, but better in my opinion because he was more fleshed out and relatable.

The main romance is friends to lovers, which isn’t my favorite romance trope but it worked in this story and I was rooting for them throughout. But like I mentioned earlier, there is a darker element to this book with violence so be aware of that before diving in. But overall a very solid fantasy book that I definitely recommend.

Thank you to Inkyard Press and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

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