“I give this book 5 stars, albeit with a content warning that someone with sensitivities should take into account before deciding to read.”
Review by Erin Phillips
When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.
After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.
To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish—into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.
Shadow and Bone meets Lore in Rebecca Ross’s Divine Rivals, an epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.
Release Date: 4/4/2023
Genre: New Adult | Fantasy
“Dear Iris, I don’t think you realize how strong you are, because sometimes strength isn’t swords and steel and fire, as we are so often made to believe. Sometimes it’s found in quiet, gentle places. The way you hold someone’s hand as they grieve. The way you listen to others. The way you show up, day after day, even when you are weary or afraid or simply uncertain. That is strength, and I see it in you.” This book is the pinnacle of the enemies-to-lovers trope! Perfectly balanced with amazing writing, it is a great mix of letters, articles, and narrative, as we follow Iris and Roman from a newspaper office to the front lines of war. Lowkey, being an investigative journalist is my dream job. I think journalism is just the coolest and I was especially extremely excited to find out that the main characters were journalists. This may have given me a bias toward the book but it was exactly my cup of tea. There were many beautiful passages, and the magical letters were my favorite part for sure. They perfectly captured the fall from friendship to romance, and reminded me a lot of the summer me and my now-hubs started talking long distance. The romantic arc was wonderfully constructed and delightful to follow. There is an open-door scene in Chapter 39, although personally I didn’t find it erotic or spicy at all. As a married woman, I thought it was a tasteful and beautiful depiction of the wedding night, without being overly descriptive of the act itself. In fact, it oddly reminded me of like when I had “the talk” with my mom which is definitely a weird thing to think of but there you go! That being said, I would recommend that those who desire to stay far away from sexual content, skip Chapter 39 when the lights go out. There isn’t any other sexual content in the book besides some snogging. There are also some more graphic depictions of war and injured soldiers, as well as some slight PTSD. I didn’t find it to be overly descriptive or gory, but it is certainly very realistic and doesn’t hide the violence of war. I would put this book more in a NA category, not just because of the romantic climax being *spoiler* marriage, but it does feature individuals in the work force, making the transition from submissive child to independent adult, which will likely speak deeply to those who have graduated and are learning how to pave their own path. I give this book 5 stars, albeit with a content warning that someone with sensitivities should take into account before deciding to read. All in all, this is one I am so happy I picked up, I will definitely reread it, and I most certainly will be picking up the sequel! “Keep writing. You will find the words you need to share. They are already within you, even in the shadows, hiding like jewels. Yours, -C.”
Action & Gore:
6. Strong action/gore (most action sequences describe blood loss and the injury to a clear picture, albeit brief or infrequent).
Romance & Spice:
5. Strong content (a singular on-page sex scene & tame descriptions).
Cursing & Vulgarity:
3. Infrequent mild cursing (less than 10 mild words).
Other Trigger/Content Notices:
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