on May 20, 2021
Series: Fate of Eyrinthia #2
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Romance, Young Adult
Source: eARC from Author
Also in this series: Royal Decoy
A DECOY recruited to be a spy.
A PRINCE compelled to become an assassin.
A SERJAH pressured by an unwanted crown.
A WORLD covered in shadows.
Mere months ago, Clare was just a kitchen maid. Now, she is a decoy for Princess Serene and a novice spy, caught in the royal family's web of secrets. While journeying to Mortise to finalize the princess’s betrothal to Serjah Desfan, Clare lives for the stolen moments she has with Bennick, the bodyguard who is quickly claiming her heart. But when a notorious assassin is hired to kill her, Clare’s life and the alliance hang in the balance.
In Ryden, Grayson prepares to leave for Mortise with his brother, Liam. Their orders are to ignite a war between their enemies, and Grayson has been tasked with assassinating Princess Serene. It may cost his soul, but he is ready to comply, as long as he gets something in return: freedom for Mia, the girl he loves. But the more time he spends with his brother, the more he begins to wonder if Liam is what Grayson wishes he had the courage to be . . . a traitor.
Desfan feels trapped. By his disapproving council, his impending marriage to a stranger, and the imminent arrival of enemy princes who may not want the peace they profess. When a dangerous drug threatens his people, Desfan jumps at the chance to rely on his swords instead of politics. But his investigation uncovers more than he bargained for--a plot that may destroy Mortise from within.
Eyrinthia hovers on the edge of war. Spies. Rebels. Traitors. All must choose a side.
Note: This is the second book in a series that should be read in order. If you are new to this series, you can check out my review of book 1 here
Royal Spy is the second book in the young adult fantasy series, Fate of Eyrinthia by author Heather Frost. I loved the first book, Royal Decoy so much! It was one of my favorite books of last year, and when I was asked to be a part of this blog tour, I jumped so fast! I did a reread of ook one, because I wanted to enjoy it again before I read book 2 and man oh man was it a good choice. I loved book one just as much the second time around and I loved book 2 just as much, which is no easy feat! This series is quickly becoming one of my favorite fantasy series because it has everything I look for in a fantasy novel…great characters, an interesting complex plot, fantastic world building and plenty of awesome political intrigue/court politics and secrets to keep readers guessing and riveted to the story. If you have not yet checked out the Fate of Eyrinthia series, you are missing out because these are some awesome books.
In Royal Spy, now that we know the lay of the land we are in for a whirlwind of a ride. The stakes are high and there are a ton of players in this complex world. I love that we get to see this story through different kingdoms in this world. And in Royal Spy we are introduced to all kinds of new characters. We still have Clare and Bennick (whom I still lovee!) and Grayson and Mia (also love) but in this installment we get to know Grayson’s brothers Liam and Tyrell a lot better which I really appreciated. It added another layer of complexity to the story that I am totally digging, even though I have a feeling it may break my heart at some point. Desfan is also a really interesting character from the kingdom of Mortise. I loved seeing all of my old favorites and I was very intrigued by one of the new characters- The Rose. I won’t say anything else other than he certainly is an interesting addition to the books…(hehe)
Heather Frost can write complex characters like nobody’s business! She is as masterful at creating fully fleshed out multidimensional characters that will make you think and make you feel for them, as she is at creating a vast world with plotlines weaving all over the place. I am supremely impressed with her worldbuilding and writing with this series. Royal Spy has even more twists, turns, secrets and surprises that Royal Decoy did and thoroughly loved my reading experience. I did not want this book to be over, not only because the ending kind of killed me, but also because I want the third book in the series right this very moment. The Fate of Eyrinthia series is a hidden gem that I want to shout from the rooftops that more people should read. If you are a fan of fantasy, this is a series that you need in your life. I love it so much!
This series is an immensely readable story. Once I picked it up, I was done for. I couldn’t put it down for anything. I completely fell in love with Clare and the story. Heather Frost does just as fantastic a job with the world as she does with the characters. I felt the complex pull and tug of the different kingdoms. I felt all of their desperation to avoid attack, all the while the whole world sits poised at the edge of war. If you are a fan of fantasies featuring great characters and romance, an interesting complex plot told in multiple perspectives, fantastic world building and plenty of awesome political intrigue Royal Spy is a book you will love! It releases next week, and I think this is a book that should be on your radar! It is one of my favorite fantasy reads of the year!
I love Bennick so much so I was super excited to see this deleted scene! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Author’s Explanation: This was such a fun scene to write, and cutting it out really hurt! I love any of those quiet, flirty moments between Bennick and Clare, but in the end, I had to make some decisions to keep the plot moving at a good pace. But I still love this scene, and I’m glad I can share it with you here!
“You look beautiful.”
Bennick’s voice was deep, low, and right behind her. Clare shivered, though the midday sun was warm against her skin. She’d been fingering a red scarf, but her fingers clenched around the material when Bennick leaned in, his hard chest pressing against her back.
His chin dropped further and his warm breath stirred the loose hairs that had fallen from her braid, tickling her ear. “But then,” he whispered, “you always look beautiful.”
Clare’s heart rolled heavily in her chest. The rest of the world vanished. The merchant’s stall was no longer in front of her, Venn and Vera weren’t standing several carts over, people weren’t streaming in the streets behind them, laughing, bartering, shouting. The only thing she knew was the man standing at her back.
She leaned into him, just a little, and when she felt his breath hitch, she grinned. His hand settled on her waist, his fingers flexing against the thin material of her blue dress. It was the beautifully embroidered one, the one that matched his eyes.
Bennick’s breath hitched. “Fates, you kill me.”
Warmth spread through her chest and her mouth twitched. “That doesn’t sound good.”
“Trust me, it is.” His lips brushed the sensitive dip below her ear and she sucked in a breath. She could feel his lips curve against her heated skin. “Do you think Venn and Vera would notice if we vanished for a few hours?”
Clare closed her eyes, relishing the sensation of his mouth resting against her neck. “I think it’s a miracle they haven’t noticed this.”
“I’m careful.” He twisted his head so their cheeks brushed and his eyes were now trained on the scarf in her hands.
The scarf she’d completely forgotten about.
“You’re just showing me the scarf,” he said. “I’m just leaning in for a better look. I’m offering my opinion. I’m excessively helpful.” He still held her waist and his thumb started coasting slowly up and down.
She shivered again. “I think you’re more distracting than helpful.”
“I’m honored to be a distraction for you.”
The merchant finalized a purchase on the other side of his large cart and turned toward them. Bennick lifted his head away and eased back to a more appropriate distance, his fingers sliding off her side.
She missed him immediately.
The merchant grinned at her, the lines around his eyes deepening. “That’s a lovely scarf for you.”
“Thank you,” she said, lowering the scarf. “But—”
Bennick snatched it from her hand. “How much?”
The merchant named a price, and Bennick purchased the scarf without haggling, ignoring Clare’s protests. As they walked away from the cart, she shot him a look. “You didn’t have to do that.”
“I wanted to.”
“And you always do what you want?”
His eyes traced her face, his tone perfectly serious. “Not always.”
A pleasant twist happened in her stomach, but she shook her head. “I don’t need a scarf.”
“You may want to use it to cover your head in Mortise. Summers are brutal there.”
“Have you been to Mortise?” They were walking slowly through the market crowd, and no one was paying them any attention as they made their way to Venn and Vera, who were looking at bolts of fabrics. Well, Vera was looking, and Venn was watching her.
“No,” Bennick answered. “Wilf’s just told me about it, from when he was stationed along the border. He entered Mortise several times on missions.” Though he wasn’t in his uniform, he still watched the shifting crowd with an alert eye. He’d also positioned himself on her right side, putting his body between her and the street.
Always a bodyguard.
Pleasant warmth swelled in her chest, and a smile tugged at her lips.
Pre Order Incentive
Want even more Bennick?? I know I do!
Pre-order Royal Spy and get an EXCLUSIVE short story from Bennick’s POV! Pre-order Gift Form: https://forms.gle/uQtyD4SboRAeNBtYA
About the story:
Bennick is a royal bodyguard, prepared for anything—except Clare Ellington. THE DECOY AND THE BODYGUARD follows Bennick and Clare during their first day together, but from Bennick’s POV. Of course, things go terribly wrong . . .