book blogger, book review, Fantasy, young adult

Book Review: WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD by CIANNON SMART

Hello Readers, welcome back to my blog.

I am back with another fairyloot subscription book review; this book is from this year’s May box. I didn’t participate in the readalong this time because I read the book before the readalong dates were announced. I did enter the May photo challenge for fairyloot, you can check out my photo on instagram, my handle is @book_latte_kech and you can check out other photos in the challenge under the tag #fairyphoto50 on instagram.

I was so happy when I found out this was the book in the May box because since I found out this book would be released this year, it has been one of my most anticipated read. I mean, a tale inspired by Jamaica and in the YA genre, I don’t get to see a lot of that in mainstream books that are advertised. So, I was frothing at the mouth for the arrival of this book.

SUMMARY

Order divides them.

Revenge will unite them.

Iraya Adair has spent her life in a cell. Heir of an overthrown and magically-gifted dynasty, she was exiled from the island nation of Aiyca. But every day brings her closer to freedom – and vengeance.

Jazmyne Cariot grew up dressed in gold, with stolen magic at her fingertips. Daughter of the self-crowned doyenne, her existence is a threat to her mother’s rule. But Jazmyne has no intention of dying.

Sworn enemies, the two witches enter a deadly alliance to take down the woman who threatens both their worlds. But revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain – except the lengths Iraya and Jazmyne will go to win this game.

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Rating: 5/5 stars

Pages: 533

Category: Fantasy, YA

Iraya and Jazmyne are from different Orders of witches and we follow both their journeys. Iraya is the daughter of the Empress of Xaymaca from the previous ruling family, their ruling seat was Aiyca. They were usurped and killed by Jazmyne’s Order of witches. Jazmyne is the only surviving daughter of the current leader of the Island of Aiyca who was responsible for the overthrow of Iraya’s family. To maintain power and a magical shield around the Island, the current leader has been sacrificing witches yearly in a ritual called the Yielding. Her people are not happy about the Yielding ceremony, so a rebel group that wants to kill her and replace her with her daughter have been planning her death. Jazmyne is also a part of this rebel group that wants to kill and overthrow her mother but she hasn’t made up her mind yet to commit fully to their plans.

As Jazmyne’s mother takes more monstrous decisions that Jazmyne doesn’t agrees with, she gets the courage to become more involved in the plotting of her mother’s death. Especially, when her mother shows no remorse for the death of her sister and kills an ally Jazmyne relied on. Meanwhile, Iraya is getting used to being a shield with limited powers and looking for ways to kill Doyenne Cariot while hiding her identity.

Both Jazmyne and Iraya are from different Order of witches and they have a lot more in common than they realise initially. Jazmyne is not ready to take the throne but she has accepted that for the god of Aiyca, she has to kill her mother and take the throne. Iraya never wanted the throne when her mother was Empress and now that she has returned she wants revenge and to protect Aiyca but she does not want to be a figure head Empress like her mother was.

The chemistry between Iraya and Kirdan is growing but I can’t tell if it is genuine on Kirdan’s part or part of the deception he is so adept at portraying. All the characters have secret agendas and causes which they are all thinking of double crossing each other for. But who among them will have their wish come true and who will regret stepping into the power game?

I gave this story 5 out of 5 stars because it gave me everything I was looking for, the patwah, the legends, the power struggle, the character growth, everything, I was here for my sistren and bredren. If you are looking for a Jamaican inspired YA fantasy that is unapologetically steeped in culture then look no further, you have found it.

If you like this review and are interested in reading this book, you can purchase it using the links below:

Waterstones (UK) – https://tidd.ly/3wLQ6X8

Book depository (Free shipping worldwide) – https://tidd.ly/3q89Gdy

Audible (audio books) – https://tidd.ly/3zCnSzR

The links above are affiliate links, which means I will get a small commission which helps me continue my blog, if you buy the book using any of these links. The purchasing price does not change for you as the customer so there is no added cost to you.

You can also support me by buying me a cup of coffee – https://ko-fi.com/book_latte_kech

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