Publication: 9th March 2023 – Orbit
In this gilded, gothic, and romantic new epic fantasy series from New York Times-bestselling author Hannah Whitten, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.
Lore has been living by her wits since she was a child, running poisons for the cartel that took her in, avoiding the attention of the law, and keeping her illicit affinity for death magic a secret.
When a job goes wrong and Lore is captured by the Sainted King’s warrior-monks, she expects death. But King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening – or face the pyre.
Thrust into a lavish court where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted, Lore must navigate an intricate web of politics, religion, and forbidden romance and solve the King’s mystery. A mystery more dangerous and twisted than Lore can even imagine.
The protagonist of The Foxglove King is Lore, a twenty-three-year-old with the death power of Mortem, the essence of death, the power born of entropy, and the only way to use it is to nearly die. Mortem also makes it impossible for Lore to leave the city of Dellaire, but she must hide her power and hope that the cult that she escaped when she was a child will never find her. But she is discovered by the Pressure Mort, a group of monks who, under orders of the Sainted King, are allowed to use the death power. Lore is presented with a choice: help the king figure out who is killing entire villages at the border and, at the same time, get close to his son and heir Bastian to prove that he is working for their enemies. If she refuses, she will die. The choice is simple, so Lore is introduced at court as the cousin of Gabriel, the duke who turned a monk following his family’s betrayal to the crown. Together, they will have to figure out the truth, while the threats of a war and the cult loom closer.
I was deeply immersed in this story. The world-building is incredible with its magic system, the political intrigue, the religious order, and the forbidden romance. The characters are well-drawn and intriguing: I loved Lore with her determination and her survival skills, Gabriel, who carries the guilt of his family’s betrayal, and Bastian, who is not at all who he seems.
I enjoyed the author’s previous novels, but I must admit that I am a bit obsessed with The Foxglove King. It’s addictive, dark, suspenseful, and riveting. The Foxglove King is easily one of my favourite books of the year and I am already looking forward to the sequel: I can’t wait to see what happens next!
A huge thank you to Orbit and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this fantastic novel.
Hannah Whitten has been writing to amuse herself since she could hold a pen, and sometime in high school, she figured out that what amused her might also amuse others. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, making music or attempting to bake. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and children in a house ruled by a temperamental cat.
Follow her on Twitter at @hwhittenwrites.