In a Garden Burning Gold

Del Rey: Ballantine. Apr. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9780593354971. $27. FANTASY
The kingdom of Thyzakos has been under the rule of the near immortal Argyros family for a long time, not only controlling the people but the stars, the tides, and the seasons. Eldest twins Rhea and Lexos take their positions seriously, while protecting their younger siblings and themselves as their father—an absolute dictator called the Stratagiozi—grows increasingly temperamental. As other nations across the continent begin to circle, and a growing number of people clamor for independence, both Rhea and Lexos know they must make their own decisions to protect their family and the world they know. As both discover truths about their father, their allies, and their own desires for love and power, the choices the twins make may secure their futures, but destroy the bond they have held for the last century. Alternating points of view between Rhea and Lexos highlight the emotional arcs of children wanting to both secure their parent’s love and remove themselves from his control. Immersive prose, Greek-inspired worldbuilding, and political machinations balance against sometimes flat secondary characters and slow pacing.
VERDICT Power (Wilder Girls) constructs a world of magical families with layered secrets.
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