Book Review: A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood #1)

by Amanda Joy

👑👑👑👑👑 (5 stars as rated in crowns worth killing your sister for)

As it has been for eight generations, the Rival Heirs of Myre must face one another to the death for the Ivory Throne on the youngests’ seventeenth nameday. For Eva, untrained in her magick and long estranged from her elder and more refined sister, Isa, the day might as well be a death sentence. Though her sister’s magick – that of influence – is well known and admired, the court vocally reviles the magick of Eva, with her Mother as the loudest of them all. But when an assassin is sent to take her life, Eva realizes how much more is at stake in the Queendom than the fate of Rival Heirs. Though the magick of blood and bone has only ever been mastered by few, if Eva is to stand a chance against the powerful sorcery of her sister, she must find someone to teach her to wield this dangerous power and quickly. With so much on the line and so many who would wish her ill, Eva turns to the help of foreign allies. But she knows as well as anyone that in the court of the Ivory Throne, no one is ever quite what they seem; least of all those knights in shining armor whose timely arrivals may be a little too convenient.

Freedom that could cost your life was just enslavement under a different name.

– Amanda Joy, A River of Royal Blood

I’m calling it now, this is the kind of book you’re going to wish you’d picked up sooner. I absolutely adored the concept and the characters were really dynamic without ever bogging me down in supporting info. The story itself moves very quickly while also managing never to ask great suspensions of disbelief from the reader. A big thumbs up to that alone! The main character, Eva, responded really reasonably to everything she faces. In fact, she acted exactly the way I would have in almost every scenario – particularly when maneuvering her relationships with Prince Aketo and Lord Baccha. Seriously, who doesn’t love when a character does and says what you were thinking!?! *raises hand* BAH! My only gripe here is that I wanted her to pursue a different love interest at the end. Womp. Still, my fingers are crossed that we’ll get a switch-a-roo in book two, A Queen of Gilded Horns, which incidentally is released ONE WEEK FROM TODAY on March 16th 2021!

✨ Rep in this book: Black protagonist, diverse characters, gay supporting character, own voices

✨ Content warnings for this book: violence, themes of war and battle, death of an animal, mind control with magic, murder, racism, estrangement from family members

Image Description: a flat lay featuring a hardback copy of the book A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy. On the cover two Black young women face one another. The one on the left has long white hair and wears a blue dress. Above her hand a ball of magical light hovers. The girl on the right has natural hair braided tightly toward the top of her head. She is wearing an orange and brown dress and wields a dagger at the other woman. The book rests at the intersection of two fabrics. A blue velvet on the left with scattered black feathers about it. On the right is a swath of crimson silk and the antlers of an antelope.

About the Author: Amanda Joy

(The following is copied from the author’s personal website)

Hi! I’m a writer and bookstagrammer. I currently live in Chicago with my dog Luna. I grew up in a family of readers. My Dad first gifted me a set of the Chronicles of Narnia and sparked my unending love of fantasy and children’s literature. Years later, my older brother gave me the Wheel of Time series, which went on to inspire me to create my own worlds. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a writer and spent most of high school staying up all night reading and writing. I studied English and Psychology at the University of Missouri, and went on to earn my MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. While at the New School, I began writing about a Princess who felt out of place in her family and was quite literally under siege in her home. That became my first novel, A River of Royal Blood.

Personal note: girl on aesthetic boards

I’ve been experimenting with aesthetic boards for characters. I really wanted to start making aesthetic boards because they do honestly enhance my enjoyment of a book. If I am really loving a character or a series I almost always look to tumblr and pinterest for moodboards. It is so fascinating to see what visuals have resonated with other readers and often I see pieces of my own experience in their boards.

I made the following three images for my favorite characters from A River of Royal Blood. Eva’s was an obvious choice, but I also made one for Prince Aketo (Eva’s handsome protector) and Lord Baccha (the mysterious foreigner dedicated to instructing her in the ways of her magick). I considered making a board for her sister, Isa, as well as Anali (the commander of Eva’s royal guard). But five aesthetic boards felt like a bit much and I’m not completely devoted to this hobby yet. What do you think about aesthetic boards? Do they pique your interest in the story at all?

Thanks so much for reading! And also, big shout out to my book bestie, Amanda (of Bookish Brews), for making me a notion page to organize my blog posts. I know I just gave her a shout out yesterday but…. talk about a great friend, right? ❤ ❤

Happy Tuesday,


Published by Sarah

My name is Sarah and I can't imagine my life without books. Actually, I can and it's terrible. I'm also into climbing, video games and bothering the nearest cat.

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