In the kingdom of Brighton, a President-turned-King offers poor teens the chance to join KEY, the King’s Education for Youth. Seventeen-year-old Reina Torres jumps at the chance to be of service to her country, wanting to learn more about Brighton’s history and future through the Media industry.
The King himself takes an interest in Reina, offering private interviews; he soon commands her to marry his cruel son. Reina, however, cannot ignore her growing feelings for Iris, a fellow KEY student, despite knowing the laws. Reina discovers refusal means punishment much worse than death, and why King Magnus hasn’t aged in decades, thanks to his KEY program.
I bet I’m not the only one who thought they knew where this book was going from the beginning… If that’s the case, I’m also not the only reader who was totally wrong. I love it when that happens. 😉
The Blood King started kind of slow for me, but it didn’t take long for things to pick up. (For the record – that’s kinda normal for me when it comes to anything dystopian.) Reina lived in a world that wasn’t kind to anyone who was… different. By different, I mean anything that wasn’t deemed “normal” by King Magnus. (Sound familiar? Just wait…) On the surface, King Magnus lived to serve the people of his self proclaimed kingdom and had been doing so for as long as most of his subjects could remember. It didn’t take Reina long to find out that not everything is as it seems within the walls of the kingdom of Brighton.
There’s more than one message hidden between the lines of The Blood King – and some of them are crystal clear. A few parallels were made to real life issues (and situations) that were too obvious to ignore. (Sometimes fiction isn’t stranger than real life.)
Once I got past my personal “dystopian block” the action, danger, mystery and even a touch of romance, kept the pages turning. I couldn’t wait to see how Reina and her friends (that included some very unexpected allies) fought back. The next book in this series promises to be just as suspenseful because not everyone escaped danger by the end of The Blood King. Needless to say, I can’t wait to get the next book in The Brighton Duology.