In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, two starcrossed lovers fight to ignite the spark of rebellion…
Londinium, the last stronghold of the Romans left in Britannia, remains in a delicate state of peace with the ancient kingdoms that surround it. As the only daughter of a powerful merchant, Cassandra is betrothed to Marcus, the most eligible bachelor in the city.
But then she meets Devyn, the boy with the strange midnight eyes searching for a girl with magic in her blood.
A boy who will made her believe in soulmates…
When a mysterious sickness starts to leech the life from citizens with Celtic power lying dormant in their veins, the imperial council sets their schemes in motion. And so Cassandra must make a choice: the Code or Chaos, science or sorcery, Marcus or Devyn?
As soon as I read the description about this book I knew that I would love it, It's such a novel concept, which is hard to come across these days. Sometimes it feels like all of the good ideas have been used and exhausted.
Secrets of the Starcrossed is the beautifully magical story of a world that could have been. I loved the world it depicted and could picture it so clearly. It was like a mix of The Hunger Games and Divergent taking place in a time that had modern technology beyond what we have today but also the traditions and religions of an ancient time.
The magical element of the story was the highlight for me. O'Connor presents us with well known myths about magic, with some key characters like The Lady of the Lake and brings them to life in an amazing way. From the strict metropolis of Londinium to the lands of the mystical Mercia and beyond, we could so clearly picture the mix of our world and this new world. O'Connor cleverly calls out some well known landmarks like Richmond Park, Chelsea and more and it was nice to imagine these familiar places through a futuristic, but also mythical, lens.
I found the story did get a little slow and repetitive in the middle and I was just waiting for something to happen. I also found the sexual tension between Devyn and Cassandra exhausting at times, it was just the same thing over and over again and dragged on a little and and it made me find them a little annoying as a result. It also would have been nice to have a bit more magic and action as that was what I really wanted to find out more about, but I think we can expect plenty of the two in the next book.
As a side note, the story alludes to a mysterious illness that is devastating the Empire and I found it reminded me of a lot of COVID and everything that we are experiencing at the moment.
I loved the ending, it has a nice circularity to it and it made me want to find out what happens next. I can't wait for the next instalment!
Big thanks to Net Galley for letting me read this pre publication. It's a great read for fantasy and myth lovers and I think it will make an excellent trilogy.
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
Devyn, he did annoy me a little at times but I loved the sense of mystery around him and then of course he was depicted as the perfect male so of course that was intriguing (!).