Thank you so much to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for giving me the opportunity to read/review Gravemaidens early! I follow the author, Kelly Coon, on Twitter, so I’ve been seeing so much about Gravemaidens that I was super excited to be able to read it!
Gravemaidens: 4/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.
In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.
When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.
But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.
Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.
I really liked the characters- Dagan was a great love interest who seemed to really care for Kammani, whether she outwardly reciprocated his feelings or not. The Nin seemed like such a sad person who only wanted a real friend. Kammani had such high dreams and wanted to keep her family together no matter what. Nanaea wanted glory and recognition. Kasha was an adorable younger brother. Iltani was the greatest best friend a girl could ask for. Overall, our main characters were great! When we get to the villains/antagonists though, I was a little lost. I know Kammani was battling time and the ruler dying, but there were also other antagonists and I had a hard time believing any of them. I hope that side of the story gets built out more in book two.
The plot was really interesting and the premise behind that was fascinating. It took me back to some of my favorite history classes from high school. At certain points, the plot dragged just a little, so people who want all the action all the time might be a little disappointed by that, but overall, this was a great book!
Gravemaidens comes out on October 29th, so definitely pre-order it or request it from your local library!