I’d like to thank the author for providing an ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: Nyx Estrella is a princess from Gexalatia, a world on the other side of a portal. Unfortunately, she has no idea. Sent to Lucky, Texas, when she was a baby to protect her from the evil King Paraximus, her biggest concerns are grades and seeing her friends. She has no idea that she possesses magical abilities and that her reality is about to become really strange.
Jet Lamia is a war prisoner, sent from Gexalatia by the queen, Liana Estrella, to bring Nyx back home to the kingdom of Ymber. The portal only opens on the winter solstice, so Jet finds himself trapped on Earth, trying to blend in. Fortunately he has the help of the queen’s chosen assistant, Seth Alvar. But playing well with others has never been one of Jet’s talents.
It is a race against the clock to tell Nyx her true identity and try to train her, while also keeping her alive. Nyx and Jet struggle to defeat the assassins sent to kill them both, while trying not to kill each other. Can this duo put their differences aside and return to Gexalatia?
I have to say that Return to Royalty was quite the pleasant surprise. The opening immediately captured my attention, and was a perfect introduction to the story.
There are no love triangles and this is definitely NOT a case of insta-love between Nyx and Jet. Yay! I loved Nyx, who comes across as being very believable and relatable. Given that she’s a college student who hasn’t a clue about her true heritage, I thought she took the news rather well, and adapts fairly quickly. And Jet, well, let’s just say I spent most of the novel wanting to smack him. He’s got a really dark past, and he’s arrogant, conceited, impatient, rude, and just doesn’t play well with others. Oh, and he smirks…A LOT! Their feelings for each other go from outright hatred, to dislike, to the possible beginnings of friendship…maybe. It was actually quite refreshing to have their relationship not fall into one of the usual YA tropes.
After the exciting beginning, the story does slow down somewhat. There’s a lot of time spent getting to know the characters but I appreciated that there wasn’t an info dump. The world-building between Gexalatia and Earth is extremely well-executed, and I loved the way the author seamlessly wove the fantasy world of Gexalatia into our contemporary world. Most of the action takes place on Earth, but there are tantalizing glimpses into this other mysterious world that drew me in and made me want more.
Return to Royalty is a promising beginning to this new YA/NA series. It’s quite unconventional in regards to what I’ve come to expect from a book in this genre and I absolutely loved that. I’m truly looking forward to seeing where E. Paige Burks takes her story and characters next.