ARC Review: Warmaidens by Kelly Coon

Thank you so much to Delacorte Press and Netgalley for letting me read Warmaidens early! Warmaidens is the conclusion to the Gravemaidens duology (I was able to read/review an ARC of Gravemaidens last year, so check out my review if you haven’t read that one yet!) and it comes out on December 15th, so make sure you go grab it then!

Warmaidens 4/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage.

But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.

Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.

At the beginning of the book, as soon as I started reading, I was super confused because while I remembered Kammani and Dagan and all of our main characters from Gravemaidens, I felt as though there were so many new characters added to the beginning of Warmaidens and I had no idea who they were. If we were introduced to them at the end of Gravemaidens, I definitely didn’t remember them, so I wish we had started with a quick character list or something, but after a few chapters, I feel like I generally had gotten my bearings and knew what was going on. I felt like I liked Kammani a little less in Warmaidens- she seemed like she was second guessing herself more and while she loved Dagan and she physically was affectionate with him, it seemed like her emotions towards him didn’t fully move past the physical realm (which is fine if that’s what you’re going for, but it seemed like the author was trying to make us believe that they were supposed to be each other’s person, but she didn’t really seem to treat Dagan like her person). The second guessing herself and her decisions as healer was more bothersome to me- she changed and grew as the book went on and that turned into a plot point, but at the beginning, it was so frustrating! Dagan also annoyed me because he seemed to be too accommodating. Sometimes need to bend, yes, but at other times if you’re sure your decision is right, you need to stand by it, no matter how wrong it ended up being. I do like that that he did take responsibility for any of his mistakes and he really seemed to love Kammani and was willing to wait for her to grow into him. In terms of the side characters, I really enjoyed all of them and they all really did seem to grow throughout the book and from book one, which was great to see. Plot wise, I thought the first 75% of the book was really strong and the pacing was good- I couldn’t put it down for that first 75%! For the last 25% of the book, I had quite a few “huh?” moments and it felt like certain aspects were rushed or tied away too neatly, but overall, the whole book ended up being a great read and a great ending to this duology. I definitely recommend reading both Gravemaidens and Warmaidens if you haven’t!

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