Review: A Dawn of Onyx by Kate Golden


Where did you get the book: Bought

Publisher: Berkley

Release date: Out now

Captured by a king of darkness. Forced to find the light within.

Arwen Valondale never expected to be the brave one, offering her life to save her brother’s. Now she’s been taken prisoner by the most dangerous kingdom on the continent, and made to use her rare magical abilities to heal the soldiers of the vicious Onyx King.

Arwen knows better than to face the ancient, wicked woods that surround the castle on her own, which means working with a fellow prisoner might be her only path to freedom. Unfortunately, he’s as infuriating as he is cunning—and seems to take twisted pleasure in playing on Arwen’s deepest fears.

But here in Onyx Kingdom, trust is a luxury she can’t afford.

To make it out of enemy territory, she’ll have to navigate back-stabbing royals, dark magic, and dangerous beasts. But untold power lies inside Arwen, dormant and waiting for a spark. If she can harness it, she just might be able to escape with her life—and hopefully, her heart.

Blurb taken from goodreads.

Sometime last year I came across this trilogy on a facebook group, which peaked my interest. It had all the hallmarks of something I like, such as a heroine who is a healer and a mysterious morally grey hero, which is my catnip.  So I picked it up and I am so glad that I did. The story focuses on Arwen, an ordinary girl from a small town in Amber in the midst of a war that is about to wrench her family apart. After her brother makes a mistake that forces her to sacrifice her freedom to save him and her mother and sister, she is captured by enemy soldiers. Because of her healing skills, instead of being killed, she is taken to the Onyx Kingdom, which is the enemy of her people and becomes their healer and soon gets ensnared in intrigue and danger as well as fighting off sensual attraction with a rakish mysterious man.

A Dawn of Onyx, is an interesting and intriguing mix of mystery that almost had gothic overtones with a dark kingdom filled with shadows and hidden secrets. Arwen is thrust into a world where she navigates with her wits and courage that she soon discovers within and gains confidence to face unknown dangers and threats. I really liked that she never let her fears overcome her and over the course of the story she realises that not everything is all it seems with what she is told about her world and the powerful people who rule it. 

While discovering new truths about the war, she befriends new people, like Mari, a witch and a swordmaster who helps to hone her skills with a sword. Meanwhile, a mysterious and rakish man who helped to comfort her with his sardonic charm during her first night at the dungeons, slowly develops an irresistible attraction which is filled with sizzling banter. I loved how this helped their tension together and their scenes came alive. But of course nothing all is simple with kingdom and secrets are unveiled that rocks Arwen’s world. 

I loved the growing romance between Arwen and Kane, this was such a joy to read when they were together on page, the humour and sexual tension between them was fantastic and added a frisson of passion to the story. Although the main plot slowly unveiled story threads to an explosive cliffhanger ending, I was glued to my kindle to see what would happen next. 

A Dawn of Onyx is a highly enjoyable fantasy romance with engaging leads with a wonderful sexy romance that is brimming full of spice and tension. The rich worldbuilding and tense pace promises that this trilogy is one for fantasy romance fans who love a memorable romance amidst a vivid world. 

I give a Dawn of Onyx a B! 

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