The basis for this story is set around a prophecy that has been told about a coming Blood Queen and Sun Queen. We learn right away in a crazy prologue that one of the main characters, Rielle, is the Blood Queen while her daughter will be the Sun Queen. You don’t see this super often in books but starting the book off knowing that Rielle’s fate was going to be, along with still having 100 different questions about how things went terribly so fast had me on the edge of my seat for the entire book. So yes, like I said, we find out right away what role each person has/will play and we also see the young princess being taken away to a safe place by a young boy named Simon while Rielle dies in her attempt to buy them enough time to escape *end scene*.
The rest of the book is told from the perspectives of Rielle, pre-Blood Queen, and of her daughter, Eliana (who we find out actually was thrown into the future a few hundred years during her jump with Simon as a baby). After an ambush on the prince, Rielle exposes the immense power that she and her father have tried to keep hidden the first half of her life and is then required to go through a series of trials to prove she is in control and could fit the role of Sun Queen as the prophecy has predicted (see I told you it’s interesting knowing beforehand that that WON’T be how things play out…). Hundreds of years after the fact we follow her daughter, Eliana, who is basically a hired assassin for the Empire and knows nothing of her royal heritage. She may or may not eventually join up with some rebels and she may or may not end up finding a certain time traveling man again.
I don’t want to spoil anything else, just know that the book is chock-full of adventure, gruesome death, a dash of romance in both times, AND A LOT OF MAGIC AND SUSPENSE. I personally enjoyed reading about Eliana’s journey more because I was interested to see why the world ended up becoming how it was between her mother’s death and the present. I also wasn’t a huge fan of just how powerful Rielle was and the attitude that ensued because of that power. Though I was a HUGE fan of the forbidden romance between Rielle and a certain prince. Yum. I need to know how he dies though (not a spoiler, it’s in the prologue). There is also a great cast of supporting characters–I LOVED Remy and Lu and basically everyone else that was introduced. I hated the villain with a passion, though I’ve seen some people liken him the Darkling from the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo—he seemed way slimier than that to me, *shrugs*.
The only warning I will give is that there is no major blow up at the end of this book so don’t be expecting one—which I was fine with. As I said, the entire book was so fast paced and intense, I was glad that the ending more or less was a gradual set up for more craziness to ensue in the next book. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to anyone interested in dark prophecies, fantasy, and fast-paced books.