Title: Year of the Reaper
Author: Makiia Lucier
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication date: November 9th, 2021
The past never forgets . . .
Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.
Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.
When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.
Year of the Reaper is an excellent, stand alone, YA Fantasy that has writing so immersive you feel like you’d been dropped into the story line and experiencing everything. Lord Cassia is our MC as he is returning home from breaking out imprisonment and surviving the plague – with one quick… he can see and speak to spirits. His return home after being presumed dead kicks off a sequence of events where the crown is targeted, and everyone must figure out who wants the Queen dead – and why. Because even though she is from an enemy country, the union brought the two lands peace – so everyone should be happy, right?
I have a hard time putting this book into words. There is so much pain, heartbreak, and love written into this storyline and plot. It was an honest to god joy to read and I couldn’t tear myself away. There is also the slowest of all slow burn romances, because the romance was not at all the focal point. This is a true fantasy novel, worthy of everyone’s time. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
There were some twists that I foresaw and expected, but the final one took me unawares. I remember looking at my husband and saying, “someone has a secret, but I can’t figure out what it is!”. I did leave this book with some questions, so I wouldn’t say it fully wraps up. But I could maybe a future book coming, even if it currently is billed as a stand alone. I would very much dive back into this world if given the opportunity.
**Thank you to Clarion Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review **
Happy reading, folks!