Author: Anna Banks
Series: Nemesis #1
Published: expected October4 2016
Source: publishers for review
Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.
Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.
Sepora's gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?
So, objectively, this is not perfect fantasy. I know that; I do. But it was just really entertaining and the characters had memorable and fun qualities and I somehow could not stop reading? It's a great example of why some books are just readable despite flaws in worldbuilding or plotting. Nemesis may be more of a "crack fantasy" than epic in nature, but I was here for it and I am going to be here for the inevitable sequels.
Nemesis has a pretty interesting main character in Sepora. She's strong willed, smart, stubborn, and determined -- a little bit Lia from the Remnant Chronicles or Raisa from Seven Realms. I loved her POV and how active she was in determining her own path and her role to come. It wasn't easy and she isn't a perfect person but she was tough and easy to engage with her and her storyline. Her chapters worked somewhat better than Tarik's but the instalove they both feel for one another is a big disappointment for two otherwise canny individuals.
I was a little iffy on the magic angle of this fantasyland and how it comes into the play for both the characters and for the plot -- it's supposedly this BIG deal and then the rules seem to change? Midway through the novel? <Spoiler>I thought Sepora's value was that she was the ONLY Forger and now the eyes are a sign of the talent and there's a bunch of hidden ones??? Then how did Serubel have such a monopoly on spectorium??</Spoiler> I am not sold on how that turned out but did feel it lessens the impact of Sepora's awesome beginning.
A bit slow moving, a bit convenient, but still tons of fun, Nemesis makes for a pretty good launchpoint for the series. There's plenty of world to explore and the outcome from the ending to discover so the sequels are already anticipated.