Apr 22, 2022

Review--King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair


Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day her death day. To end a years-long war, she is to marry vampire king, Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, and kill him. ⠀

But her assassination attempt is thwarted and Adrian threatens that if Isolde tries kill him again, he will raise her as the undead. Faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde seeks other ways to defy him and survive the brutal vampire court. ⠀

Except it isn’t the court she fears most—it’s Adrain. Despite their undeniable chemistry, she wonders why the king——fierce, savage, merciless—chose her as consort. ⠀

The answer will shatter her world.




I finally picked up one of Scarlett St. Clair's books as I've been hearing a lot of good things about them, and naturally I started with King of Battle and Blood! This is vampire romance story that will hold you riveted with emotions. As you might be able to tell, this is the epitome of enemies to lovers but at a far grander scale.

Isolde pretty much knew that a happy marriage was never in her future, when you're a princess, you learn not to expect much on that front. When you live in a world as dangerous as hers, it's hard to even form attachments. Vampires reign in the north, other monstrous creatures ravage the land all over, nowhere is safe, at least after dark. Then when the king of the vampires, Adrian, comes to her kingdom and asks for her hand in marriage, she accepts. Mainly, she believes that this could protect her people from the other dangerous creatures and the vampires that are under Adrian's rule. Her father worries for her safety, but also wants her to try to kill her new husband if and when possible, her ex-lover/guard is insanely jealous, and her people think she has betrayed them by "siding" with the enemy.

Isolde travels with Adrian and his convoy to return to his palace in the north and along the way, she gets an idea of what the vampire culture is truly like. It's not necessarily the eye-opening experience that has her sympathizing for vampires, but she at least gets a better knowledge of what they are like. 

Isolde does make an attempt on Adrian's life that fails epically, but Adrian is non-pulsed by it. In fact, if anything their physical relationship only grows stronger. Though Isolde expresses her dislike for Adrian, she never turns him away from her bed at night. Although I've read many an adult paranormal read with romance or being a paranormal romance book, I've come to dislike the term "f-ing" when it comes to the physical act of sex. I mean, it doesn't bother me if it's between two characters not meant to be together but when it's coming from the star couple...I almost prefer going with the G-rated "making love" just because it does come off as more romantic to me. F-ing just feels like satisfying a physical need, and yes, that is what's happening here but at the same time, Isolde is feeling things other than hate. She's not sure what these feelings are or what to make of them, but it's there. So maybe it's too soon to say "making love," I just wish there could be a better word choice in the end. But seriously, who have I become that I am saying this? Lol.

Isolde is also beset with strange dreams. They were kind of hard to recognize at first, but soon I was able to see they were dreams. They were kind of strange because they felt familiar in a sense but also not. Like maybe they were some sort of trippy telepathy communication thing. 

The pacing was sedate, not quite slow, but not fast paced either. There was a lot of "learning" to be done for both the reader and Isolde as she enters a new kingdom and sees things for the first time. There's a kind of history that I feel like we're not exactly privy to. We get told bits and pieces of it here and there, and perhaps I was distracted at the times these key moments came up as I felt a little lost as time moved on and I wasn't sure what the goals were going to be. 

I did enjoy the kinder romantic moments between Isolde and Adrian. When they weren't ripping each other's clothes off Adrian did seem to try to make things easier for Isolde despite her circumstances. But naturally, Adrian holds back on things and even Isolde can tell.

With secrets galore, a haunted past, and plotting afoot...this was definitely a pageturner! While I struggled with parts here and there, it was never enough for me to quit the story. The characters were deeply complex and were not predictable. I enjoyed both Isolde and Adrian's character as well, while they weren't perfect, they both were characters you wanted to root for. Although, naturally, sometimes you wanted to shake Isolde for a few things, but who doesn't want to throttle the heroine a time or two? 

Scarlett St. Clair has definitely become an author to watch out for! I am already excited to try out her Hades and Persephone series and can't wait to dive into that one soon! If you're looking for an intriguing and mysterious vampire romance series to read, you need not look further!



Overall Rating 4/5 stars




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