ARC Review | A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood, #1)Title: A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood #1)

Author: Amanda Joy

Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.75 Stars)

Publisher: Putnam

Release Date: October 29, 2019

“It took some time, but I stood taller. I Breathed deeply; trough the air burned in my throat, I welcomed it. I allowed the smoke to cloud my mind and bade my thoughts to silence, except for one refrain: enemy, obstacle, Queen.”


I went into this expecting a dark sister fantasy story and I was half right. While A River of Royal Blood is filled with whimsy and unique magic, it’s really Princess Eva’s story with her sister Isadore playing a small role. Born with a feared blood and marrow magic not seen since the vicious Queen Raina conquered Myre for humans generations ago, Eva must try and master these unknown powers if she wishes to fight for the throne, and only the strongest Rival Heir will survive.

Things I Liked
The worldbuilding hooked me from the very beginning. I loved the different types of magicks and the different histories for Myre, Dracol, and the Roune Lands. I especially loved getting stories from Bacchas – they felt like fairytales, which was so very enchanting. And I really loved learning about the different races in Myre. There was some great commentary about race and legacy in the story as well.

I truly loved a lot of the characters. Princess Eva goes through quite a journey from shying away from her powers to embracing them. Bacchas was a scene stealer – so charming. Aketo has this commanding presence and I loved learning more about Khimaer magic from him. I expected to get more from Isa and Falun, but maybe in the next book?

I loved the chemistry between everybody too. I was rooting for basically all the possible couples from the beginning. I honestly would have been okay with any combination for a romance.

Things I Didn’t Like
Miscommunication was used a few times in the story, and one time really bugged me near the end. You can’t be mad at somebody taking action with the information they have, then judge them based on the greater amount of information you have. It was just mildly frustrating.

I feel like the book spoiled itself unintentionally. I don’t want to say too much and give anything away, but it was very easy to tell what certain reveals were going to be based on information the story gave us – and I don’t mean foreshadowing or clues.

The cover art confused me bc it was all wrong. When I got descriptions of Eva’s white tattoos, I thought she was on the left. But when she described how she took after her father: darker skin and hair, so she was clearly on the right. I got confused before I realized that the cover art was just wrong. It didn’t take away anything from the story, obviously. And it’s a stunning cover, again obvious, just want to give you a heads up in case you tried to figure out which sister was which while reading.

A River of Royal Blood is a rich fantasy story with excellent worldbuilding I can’t wait to dive back into. The characters are complex and captivating and the magick is unique. If you’re looking for a fantasy story that will hook you from page 1, look no further.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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