There’s nothing better than reading a book with a strong and fierce female lead. Give me a woman who fights for her beliefs and stands her ground and I’m hollering her name from rooftops. Eden is as fierce and forthcoming as they come. Forced into an arranged marriage, Eden and her fiancé, Luka, must commit early for political reasons. As if marriage doesn’t have it’s own difficulties—now you have immaturity and ulterior motives, not to mention people who’d rather see you apart than together. Downfall is a roller coaster ride, and at 85%, I had no idea how it would end.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the pacing. A sign of excellent writing is a steady and smooth flow. It makes you addicted to the story—to the point where you have to keep reading until you get to the end. This is how I felt when I was reading Downfall. I didn’t want to put it down. I cursed sleep and alarm settings. I wanted to keep reading it because I was thirsty for Eden and Luka’s romance and could not for the life of me figure out what would happen next! Luka is such an a-hole! Have I mentioned that yet? HE IS. But mixed with Eden’s “kiss my ass” attitude, and you have an explosive connection you want to read more about.
I’m honestly so surprised Willow wrote this book. It’s unlike everything else she’s written. Which is wonderful! I love when authors try something different—and succeed. And she definitely did! It was royalty and familial obligations and politics and angst and stubbornness and swoon-worthy romance all in one. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to check out book #2 in the Kingdoms of Sin series.
“Swoon-worthy romance,” Erica said. I can honestly say I never thought I would read a book—even for this blog we do—that one would say had “swoon-worthy romance.” I don’t know if I even have the experience to agree with that statement, so let’s just say she is right and move along. Maybe I will keep more of my man card that way. LOL
Regarding the other parts of her review, I totally agree with her comments about the political turmoil and being unsure how Willow would wrap up the book. But Willow did, and it was definitely satisfying!
While the romance part was clearly the lead in the story, there was this undertone of societal and familial politics that floated to the surface for me. What do you do when things you may not want to do are out of your control—family or otherwise—and there are responsibilities you must commit to? I feel like everyone can relate to that, in one way or another. That feeling inside when you know you must do something, even if you really would rather do something else: go to work instead of playing with your significant other or the kids (or dog); see extended family when you’d rather be on the couch binge-watching the new best show.
In Downfall, Willow plays with these themes—on much grander scales—through beautiful twists and turns throughout the story, so much so that until it was over, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
On the other side of the coin, this book challenged me. It was almost to that point of being too much of a romance for my man-card liking. Almost. Please don’t get me wrong, Willow is a talented writer and the way she wrote about Luca and Eden’s love/challenges reminded me of watching Wesley and Buttercup in The Princess Bride (As youuuuu wishhhhhh!). But this may be as far into the romance world as I can go for now.
I’m also working on my desensitizing skills, so let me say this. Ahem… THIS BOOK HAS A LOT OF SEX … that was so hard to do (that’s what she said).
Overall, congratulations, Willow, on a great read!
That’s funny that Matt mentioned The Princess Bride. In Willow’s live chat, she confessed that Downfall is Game of Thrones fanfiction. This makes so much sense when you read the book! Especially since one of the character’s names is Brienne. *sigh* You’ll see Jon Snow, Sansa…all your favorites. I didn’t know about this fact until after I had finished the book, but now I can say, I GET IT.
While I won’t give away the ending, I will say (with Willow’s permission) that the books in this series will be standalones. This means, happy or not, there will be some resolution in each story. If you’re someone who likes everything to be tied up in a bow, this is the series for you!
To purchase a copy of or read the synopsis for Willow Aster’s Downfall, click here.