Synopsis: “A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.
Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire’s capital–her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village’s tithe has been the same woman. Gilene’s sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.
But this year is different.
Azarion, the Empire’s most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion–and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.
To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire–and burn once more.”
Oh. My. Gaaaaaaawd. What a frikkin great book and great start to a series! Grace Draven is an author I am definitely going to be looking into more. I was drawn in from the very beginning and completely and totally adored this book. The two main characters are Gilene, a fire witch, and Azarion, the prime gladiator of the Empire. Both Gilene and Azarion are such wonderfully developed characters. It was so great watching their growth throughtout the novel. Both have endured such hardships but still remain such beautiful characters.
Gilene was seriously so amazing and everything I love in a heroine. Fierce and brave, she was my favorite part of the whole story (well her, and the enemy-turned-lover aspect of the story. Don’t judge me, I live for these kinds of tropes.) Besides romance, Phoenix Unbound has an abundant amount of action as well as a good amount of ghosts, magic, and revenge. Also, how GORGEOUS IS THAT COVER. I did not want this story to end. But alas, it did and now I will be not-so-patiently awaiting the next book in the series!
*I received access to this galley for free through the First to Read program in exchange for an honest review*
Interested? Phoenix Unbound is set to be released September 25th!