Review | King of Battle and Blood (Adrian x Isolde #1) by Scarlett St. Clair

Title: King of Battle and Blood (Adrian x Isolde #1) by Scarlett St. Clair

Published: November 30, 2021

Genre(s): fantasy, new adult, romance, vampires

Read as: paperback, owned

Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Their Union Is His Revenge.

Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day her death day. To end a years-long war, she is to marry vampire king, Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, and kill him.

But her assassination attempt is thwarted and Adrian threatens that if Isolde tries kill him again, he will raise her as the undead. Faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde seeks other ways to defy him and survive the brutal vampire court. ⠀

Except it isn’t the court she fears most—it’s Adrain. Despite their undeniable chemistry, she wonders why the king——fierce, savage, merciless—chose her as consort.

The answer will shatter her world. (Goodreads)

King of Battle and Blood was one of my most anticipated reads for 2021. I’ve made it no secret that I love a good new adult fantasy romance. Throw in a healthy dose of violence and I am absolutely sold. It also helps that I enjoy St. Clair’s books based on Persephone and Hades so, to say the least, I had high expectations for this read.

For the most part, I enjoyed the characters in this book. Isolde is bold, brave, and knows her own mind. Was she a little cliched? Sure. But that didn’t stop me from liking her character. She is faced with a hard choice, does she or dose she not sacrifice herself to the enemy in order to save the kingdom she loves? It took bravery to step up to the plate and marry Adrian even though she thought she was signing her own death warrant. My only complaint about her is that she doesn’t seem to develop further over the story. What you see is what you get. Yes, she is supposed to have this mysterious back story that slowly comes to light but if you have two brain cells knocking around it is easy to figure out and doesn’t come as any surprise.

Then there is Adrian who is pretty much every male interest I’ve ever loved. He is not good nor is he evil. He does what has to be done in order to accomplish his goals and does not hesitate to stomp some toes (or some skulls) along the way. For being the king in the kingdom of vampires he was pretty tame about the whole blood drinking scenario although I suspect that will show up more in the second book (in a more kinky kind of way).

St. Clair’s writing works for me. It just does. I can get lost in the stories she crafts quite happily. But, they are a little shallow. Everything feels very surface level and I couldn’t see anything really churning beneath the surface. However, the surface is vibrant enough to keep me interested.

Overall, this book was enjoyable. There is a perilous peril on the horizon, enough sexy scenes to satisfy me, and the support characters were interesting enough (although a little cookie cutter). I would have liked a little more background and depth to the story but it was enough to keep me happy throughout. When the next book in the series comes out, I will certainly be reading it.

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