Thanks to NetGalley and Feiwel & Friends for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: October 4th, 2016
Synopsis: Princess Sepora 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 weapinize it, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from 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 could have imagined.
Sepora’s gift could save Tarik’s kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her feelings at all costs?
I’m going to start with the cover of Nemesis, because that alone has quite a bit of controversy swirling around it. Some people think it’s hideous and even offensive, likening the cover model wearing silver paint to blackface. While I don’t think the cover is beautiful, I do find it striking and memorable. I also wasn’t offended by the silver paint as its use is thoroughly explained in the book. For people who may be turned off by the cover, please give the book a chance because it’s a solid beginning to what looks to be a great new series. To be honest, the beginning is a little slow but it doesn’t take long for the pace to pick up. I absolutely loved both Sepora and Tarik! They’re both struggling with the responsibilities placed upon their young shoulders. I think out of the two, Sepora has it worse, as her father is a complete psychopath who only care for power. Despite the way she’s been brought up, by a cruel father and indifferent mother, Sepora has a solid sense of morality as well as compassion for others. She has an inner strength and dignity which makes her an extremely appealing character. She’s also feisty and impulsive which leads to some amusing moments, especially when it comes to some of the interactions between her and Tarik who doesn’t know quite what to make of her. Tarik shares many of the same traits as Sepora: compassion, morality, inner strength, and dignity. He’s a new king who wants to do the best for his people. There is no insta-love here, which I was quite happy about. Theirs is a relationship that slowly and believably develops over the course of the story. The world-building is beautifully detailed, and although most of the story takes place in Tarik’s kingdom of Theoria, there are four others that are brought up, including Sepora’s homeland, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them in future books. The only other issue I had was with the ending. I thought it was a good place to stop, and set things up nicely for the next book, but to me it came across as rather abrupt. For the most part though, I think this Nemesis is a solid beginning to this new series by Anna Banks, and I’m definitely looking forward to the next book. If you like YA fantasy with strong characters and mesmerizing world-building, I urge you to pick this up. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!