The Gilded Crown

Harper Voyager. (The Raven’s Trade, Bk. 1). Jul. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780063248779. pap. $18.99. FANTASY
DEBUT Hellevir has always been able to talk to animals and spirits, but at 10 years of age, she discovered she could also talk to Death. She learns to bargain with Death for the lives of creatures great and small. But there is a cost to keeping a soul alive, and Hellevir pays with blood and tokens from the living. Rumors spread quickly, and Hellevir soon draws the attention of the queen. When the queen’s granddaughter is assassinated, Hellevir offers to bring her back to life. Once is not enough for the queen and princess, though, and Hellevir is forced to become the princess’s personal resurrectionist. Hellevir moves to Rochidain, the capital city, to be on hand for the princess and finds herself tangled up in court politics and religious tensions. As war looms, Hellevir must balance her loyalties and love for the princess as she grows into her power.
VERDICT A beautiful fantasy full of quests, court intrigue, and star-crossed lovers, Gordon’s debut is the first of a duology, recommended for fans of Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree.
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