Jul 14, 2017

Review--Nemesis by Anna Banks

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?

I was a big fan of Anna Banks’ Syrena Legacy trilogy and was ecstatic when I heard she had new fantasy series out! Fast forward to the now, I finally read Nemesis and found it to be pretty enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, I had a huge struggle with the first 100 pages, but I stuck with it, determined to see it through and found myself captivated by it by its end.

I think my struggles began with the world-building. With fantasies world-building is a very delicate matter, I think. You can make or break a story with it. In this one, there were times when I wasn’t quite grasping what kind of world I was dealing with. I know we say things like show, don’t tell. But that’s not always the best route for fantasy worlds. All of sudden I am seeing new words that describe creatures and there’s talk of this land and that land and the land in between. A map would’ve done wonders for that part! There’s just SO much new information and then to incorporate segments of history lessons, so to speak, it basically gave me a headache and left me confused.

To top it off, our characters, Sepora and Tarik don’t meet until past the 100 page mark. Hence my struggle to get into this story. But once they’re finally in the same scope of things, the story did start to pick up for me. Sepora is a princess and is running away from home. She is tired of her father using her to Forge spectorium. Forging spectorium is a very rare ability and the spectorium is rare and powerful itself. It’s exact usage and whatnot was one of those things not made completely clear, but it’s basically the hot powerful thing to have. Sepora’s father was using it too much, having Sepora drain herself dry in order to create it and never letting her have a life of her own. So she runs away. And then as fate would have it, she soon finds herself a concubine for the new king of Theoria, Tarik.

While Sepora wanted out of her kingdom, winding up as her enemy’s concubine, or one of them. She manages to get herself another job at the palace and is soon an adviser to the king while his own adviser is away negotiating a marriage contract with yet another kingdom. Poor Tarik though became king in a sad way as his father died from the Quiet Plague and has healers working to treat other patients with it and to hopefully find a cure. When it becomes clear that spectorium is what they would need, Sepora knows she must keep her abilities a secret because she is tired of being used by others.

Naturally, it’s not long before feelings start to develop between these two. Though, in a sense, it does take a while page time wise. That was something I enjoyed obviously! I love a slow burning romance! Then add in a brother who also likes Sepora, and is actually the one who “gifted” her to his brother’s concubine horde, for hopes of having his own dalliance with her, it definitely shakes things up. I wouldn’t say there’s a love triangle involved, because Sepora is less than impressed with the brother.

The plot soon revolves around a possible impending war between the countries. Or more likely between Theoria and Serubel. There’s a tension to things, especially when Tarik’s kingly duties start to affect the romance growing between him and Sepora.

The ending definitely leaves things kind of tense. I wouldn’t say we’re dealing with a cliffhanger per se, but you’re left knowing that there is a great deal more to come. And the tension was soooo bloody thick! I loved it!  We get both Sepora and Tarik’s points of view during the telling of this tale, which was nice as it let us in on what they were both thinking. Oddly though, Sepora was told in first person and Tarik in third, but I guess it’s just more to differentiate between the two? Just something I noted as I read but really had no effect on my enjoyment.

Nemesis had a rough and bumpy start but once I got further into it, it soon became a read that held me riveted! I am so glad I kept going with this one and even more glad that I have the next book ready and at the helm! This is definitely a fantasy that stands out as it has a more unique world setting.


Overall Rating 4/5 stars


  1. This sounds really... confusing. Seems like a lot is going on in this one, and the brother likes the main character? Hmm... I really don't know if this is the right kind of book for me. :S Now I'm on the fence about it. Hahah! Thanks for the review!

    Cass @ Words on Paper

  2. That cover makes me think of the guy in New Orleans who paints himself silver and hangs out on the street to make money. I feel like Cass, not sure if this is for me or not.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. I am so jealous you have Ally. I really liked this book and cannot wait to see what happens next. I am looking forward to your thoughts on Ally.

  4. World building can make or break a book for me. I'm definitely intrigued by this one but I think I'll start with this authors other series. Great review!

  5. I am glad you enjoyed this one despite the difficult start. When a book is really setting up a new world it can be a tough start. Glad that sticking with it paid off.


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