Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last known Forger of spectorium, a living element which provides her land with energy – and that’s why she’s a danger to her country. Sepora flees Serubel, heading to the neighbouring kingdom of Theoria, where she plans to blend in with the Serubelan freed slaves. However, she is captured during her journey and ends up in servitude to King Tarik of Theoria. Tarik and Sepora soon form a complicated bond, made all the more confusing by the fact that the one thing Tarik needs to stop the plague sweeping his nation is spectorium – and although Sepora is the only one who can provide him with the element, she must keep her gift a secret at all costs.
|Nemesis & extras from November’s Fairyloot box
Nemesis just happened to be one of those books that I couldn’t get excited about, but didn’t exactly dislike either. There were definitely high points and low points throughout, but it seemed that the majority of it was just sort of middle points? Anyway. I figured the best way to sum this book up was to do my favourite thing, and make a list!
+ The Egyptian inspired setting. Theoria is very much Egyptian, from the pyramids (although Theorian pyramids are made from spectorium) to the clothing style, to the eye makeup. I haven’t read many Egyptian inspired fantasy worlds before, so this was interesting and I think it really worked!
+ The Serpens. Serubelans have these lizard-like things that seem to look like giant snakes but with wings. Legless dragons? I think so. I imagined them as legless dragons. They also have massive needle-like teeth, so maybe they’re more like flying basilisks? I don’t know. Anyway. Most Serubelans seem to see their Serpens as tools, but Sepora really cares for her Serpen, Nuna. There are also different types of Serpens – Defender Serpens, Seer Serpens, etc. More Serpen-lore in the sequel, please.
+ The changing of the grammatical persons. Both Sepora and Tarik are POV characters, but Sepora’s chapters are written in first person, and Tarik’s in third person. I thought this was really interesting and I haven’t seen it done before – if nothing else, it helped to differentiate between the two character’s chapters!
+ The romance. This isn’t something I often say about this type of book, but I actually liked the romance portrayed in Nemesis! It wasn’t too rushed and I actually liked the idea of the two characters together.
+ The ending. I definitely didn’t expect the plot twist, and because of this I’ll definitely consider reading the sequel once it’s out.
+ Sepora’s voice. It’s probably an odd thing to say, but I really struggled to connect with Sepora mostly because of the way she spoke. She’s very formal, and yeah, I know she’s a royal, but do royal’s always think in such a formal manner? I doubt it, but if there are any royals reading, do feel free to prove me wrong.
+ The lack of action. I felt as though Sepora’s journey to Theoria at the beginning of the book could definitely have been shorter – it didn’t seem to develop her character or the plot in any way, and once it was over I felt as though the book picked up a lot.
+ Lack of character development. Sepora is often referred to by others as being really smart etc, but there isn’t much to show
this. I also felt that, as I mentioned, the way that she spoke and acted in her POV chapters didn’t help her character development.