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Review: The Black Lily (fantasy romance)

Review: The Black Lily (fantasy romance)Author: Juliette Cross
Title: The Black Lily
Series: Tales of the Black Lily #1
Publisher: Entangled
Pages: 300
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Cinderella like you’ve never seen before…

With the threat of the vampire monarchy becoming stronger every day, the Black Lily must take drastic measures. As the leader of the underground resistance, Arabelle concocts the perfect idea to gain the attention of the Glass Tower. Her plan? Attend the vampire prince’s blood ball and kill him. Fortunately for Prince Marius, her assassination goes awry, and Arabelle flees, leaving behind only her dagger.

Marius is desperate to find the woman whose kiss turned into attempted murder, hunting for the mysterious assassin he can’t push out of his mind. But what he uncovers could change the course of his life forever…
Format: eARC
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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to sexual content.

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*

Welcome to Jen’s review of THE BLACK LILY by Juliette Cross!

I want to start this post by apologizing to everyone for not having written this review sooner. Although I read the book in time for the release date, I wasn’t able to take the time to write my review due to my work schedule. This week got crazy; my boss had me staying late and coming in early. As usual, life got in the way of blogging!

About The Black Lily

The Black Lily is a fairytale re-telling, loosely resembling Cinderella. The stories share some elements like the evil sisters, the ball, and the midnight deadline. However, the stories are very different, particularly because the prince is a vampire. Instead of selecting a bride at the ball, the prince is expected to choose a new blood concubine. And instead of being oppressed as a stepdaughter, the main character is oppressed because she is a servant and a peasant. She is trying to start a revolution to rise up against the ruling class of vampires. Her first act against the monarchy is to try to assassinate the prince at the ball.


Quick Opinion

I loved The Black Lily! The author did an excellent job of blending fantasy, action, and romance. I couldn’t put this book down!


Full Review of The Black Lily

Pet Peeve: her “sex”

Tense: past

Point of View: third, alternating

Sexual Content: explicit

Main Characters: Arabelle (“The Black Lily”) and Marius (Varis prince)

My Likes

I loved most everything about the book. The thing I loved the most was how the romance progressed. The physical attraction was there, but the characters didn’t immediately act upon it. They didn’t forget their goals and obligations, nor did they instantly fall in love.

I thought it was funny that Marius thought about his attraction to Arabelle a lot, while she thought about ways she could kill him. Marius realized this was problematic. “To set his desires on a peasant woman who continually tried to kill him wasn’t very wise for one as old and experienced as he was.” (location 1333. note: this was an ARC, so the quote might not be verbatim or in the same location in the finished book. I don’t normally quote ARCs, but I thought this quote really helped what I was trying to say here.)

The book begins with worldbuilding, describing the history of vampires. I liked that the author got this out of the way at the very beginning, without being too lengthy.

I felt the characters in the book were well-developed and sufficiently motivated. Also, both leads of the story has significant emotional growth. They realized things weren’t quite the way they thought, and they grew as characters because of those realizations.

Another thing I liked was the fact that Marius was betrothed and trying to get out of marrying someone he didn’t love. Normally, it is a woman who tries to escape an arranged marriage. It was a nice change for it to happen to a man.

The story was wrapped up enough at the end to leave me satisfied. There isn’t a cliffhanger. However, a few things were left open, and I can see room for another book in the series. One thing in particular that I am hoping to learn more about is the secret in the forest. I didn’t feel that the author explained well enough what the forest had to do with the creation of the first vampire. I’m hoping that the next book contains more about this mystery.

My Dislikes

The main criticism I have is that the book became violent and graphic out of the blue. Throughout the majority of the book, violent acts were not graphically depicted. So, it was a little shocking when a vampire attack was described in gruesome and bloody detail. It’s not that I mind gore; it’s just that it was unexpected and didn’t seem to fit with the previous content of the book. If I had been exposed to something that graphic earlier in the book, I would have been prepared for it.

A minor complaint is that the Arabelle seemed to have an advanced vocabulary for a peasant. She seemed educated, but it was never explained how that could be.

Overall Opinion

If you like a fantasy romance that doesn’t include insta-love or love triangles, you should read The Black Lily. It’s fast-paced, well-written, and includes a well-developed cast of characters. I give it five stars (an A), and I strongly recommend it!

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Jen Schaper
I am a mom of three kids, a wife, and a wannabe author. For Books That Hook, I review books, create features and discussions, design the website, and do all the administrative stuff.

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