I kept hearing about The Serpent and the Wings of Night, and then one of my best friends gifted it to me for my birthday a few months ago.
It’s been pitched by other reviewers as the next A Court of Thorns and Roses, and I can definitely see why! This book was like ACOTAR, Throne of Glass, From Blood and Ash, and The Hunger Games all mixed together.
Synopsis (adapted from Goodreads):
This fantasy romance follows Oraya, the adopted human daughter of the Nightborn vampire king. Oraya carved her place in a world designed to kill her, but her only chance to become something more than prey is entering the Kejari: a legendary tournament held by the goddess of death herself. But winning won’t be easy amongst the most vicious warriors from all three vampire houses. To survive, Oraya is forced to make an alliance with a mysterious rival—a vampire named Raihn.
But war for the House of Night brews, shattering everything that Oraya thought she knew about her home. And Raihn may understand her more than anyone—but their blossoming attraction could be her downfall, in a kingdom where nothing is more deadly than love.
What I really appreciate about this book is how well Broadbent balances action with character. The plot of this book is very Throne of Glass and The Hunger Games: beat these trials and become the only winner, except this winner gets a gift granted by the goddess of death herself. The trials themselves are bloody and deadly, and I was impressed by how Broadbent didn’t shy away from showing the brutality of the trials.
The romance itself is a slow burn one, and Oraya and Raihn actually get to spend a lot of time getting to know each other before they become friends and allies, yet alone lovers. While Oraya was slow to open up, her position in society is a unique one, and I enjoyed getting to know her. Raihn is very much a Sarah Maas-like love interest. He’s sassy yet serious, powerful yet emotionally vulnerable. And, of course, he has wings.
Overall, I sped through this book! While it has character-driven scenes, it never slows down or drags, despite the fact that it’s over 500 pages long. As some other reviews pointed out, it’s certainly not an original story, but Broadbent does a fantastic job of putting her own spin on it. It’s one of those books that gives you a book hangover, and with the twist at the end, I’m thankful that the second in the series comes out soon.