Published: January 25, 2020
Read as: eARC from Netgalley
My rating: 2
An artist who inks magical tattoos….
Rea is a Suveri, part of a tribe that can create tattoos with devastating powers. Bitter after the death of her father at the hands of a cruel general, she tries to get revenge…only to fail at her mission and be saved by a mysterious stranger who demands to know the secrets of the Suveri’s tattoos.
A prince searching for power..
Sebastyen is the heir to the throne and a warrior who has shed more blood than any other on the battlefield. But the woman he meets offers a glimpse of peace. Intrigued by her rebellious nature, he agrees to fulfill three of her wishes in return for learning how to tattoo with magic. (from Goodreads)
Read as eARC provided by Netgalley. Opinions are my own.
This book has such an interesting premise. I love the idea of tattoos that can bestow magical abilities depending on the design. When you add in that a nomadic people are the only ones with the affinity to create those tattoos, a warlord prince in search of power, and a rebellious, strong woman with a painful past you bet I was all in for this story.
Unfortunately, it all fell a bit flat for me. Those nomadic peoples the description promised? Yeah, they play practically no part in the story other than a convenient excuse for Rea’s behavior. And Rea, our rebellious woman capable of bestowing the magic tattoos? Well, she caves to the will of a man and offers her life at his feet after they have a quick tumble. Where is her promised determination, iron will, and free spirit? No dick is worth giving up your free will, no less your life.
Oh, and let us not forget these magical tattoos that can bestow powers, long life, and a myriad of other things. Those are just another plot point tossed in for giggles, they actually don’t mean anything and are pretty much completely useless in terms of the story. Rea gives this huge build up about how painful they are and how they can destroy your sanity with their pain. Yeah, she was just kidding about that. She can make them painless if she wants to. lol.
This book gave so many promises it did not deliver on. Even the romance aspect was pretty dry and entirely unbelievable. The concepts behind this story are wonderful and I think with a little more development and thought this could become an absolutely magical story. In its current format, well, at least it was short.