I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.What We Devour by Linsey Miller
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 6, 2021
Genres: Adaptations, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, General, Monsters, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
From the author of Mask of Shadows comes a dark and intricate story of a girl who must tether herself to a violent ruler to save her crumbling world.
In a world of devastating power and a bloodthirsty monarch, it's time for the wealthy to be devoured.
Lorena Adler has a secret—she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. She has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. She's content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.
But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian's father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So she makes a deal—a fair trial for her betrothed's father in exchange for her service to the crown.
The prince is desperate for her help. He's spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile...and he's losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she'll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive.
This heart-pounding YA story of magic and danger is perfect for readers looking for:
epic books for tweens and teens
gay and lesbian fantasy and science fiction
gripping stories with queer and gay magic and sorcery
dazzling world-building and relatable characters
tween and teen LGBTQ+ books
high fantasy with asexual and aromantic representation
lesbian and gay fairy tales
Before I start, allow me to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review this book. I wasn’t expecting I would get approved for this one, but I was pleasantly surprised when I was. Now… on to the review.
So we all know that one of the things that can make or break a book are the characters. I have a few thoughts on some of the characters for you.
I very much enjoyed Lorena’s character. The book is told from her point of view. She’s a great character. She’s unique in that she is only one of two people in Cynlira who have the pleasure of being “dualwrought”. She’s sassy, sarcastic, and quite frankly, she’s just my kind of character. She’s also loyal to a fault, unless, of course, you screw her over and she finds out about.
Alistair (The Heir)
He’s supposedly the villain in this story, but I’ll be perfectly honest, I actually loved him. I shipped Alistair and Lorena so much it’s not even funny. They were just so good together. In my opinion, he wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone else made him out to be. He was much more caring than one would think – he’s the classic misunderstood villain.
Carlow was abrasive, crabby, and could be downright rude. But she was still a lovable character all the same. She cares too much and it shows in how she tries to keep people away from her and keep them safe.
Creek is a super interesting character and I enjoyed him. Lorena’s first encounter with him is quite funny – especially one of the things Carlow says in regards to it. The twist to Creek’s character made me pause.
Basil is a character that while we didn’t seem much of them, they were a favorite of mine. They seem to be a bit on the mischievous side and I love it!
Will and Julian
This father and son duo made me want to scream. Remember when I said Lorena is loyal to a fault? Yeah… you’ll see what I mean with these two. But don’t worry, she gets over it.
There isn’t much world-building done here, just enough to get by. There is, however, a map, which is nice because it at least gives a picture of what we are dealing with. The world-building that is done is usually done when it is important to the plot or what is currently happening in the book. The majority of the story takes place in one location, which is probably why there wasn’t a lot of world-building — we didn’t really utilize a lot of the world in the story.
My Overall Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a dark fantasy with a unique magic system in which “wrights” are used – not everyone has a wright, so not everyone has magic. However, the magic they use requires them to make contracts with their wrights and it is the wrights that actually do the magic. It’s very interesting and very unique.
The book has creepy elements, a touch of romance, and some mystery as well. What I’d love to have is a prequel – to tell about the Gods abandoning them/being consumed by the people of Cynlira. I’d also love a sequel that details what happens after the end of What We Devour. I think it would very interesting to see what happens in the aftermath.
I rated this book four stars and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes dark fantasy and unique magic systems.