Kingdom of Exiles

Kingdom of Exiles

by Maxym M. Martineau

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Overview

"Has all the lush world-building and intoxicating magic of the Harry Potter universe" — Entertainment Weekly
"Lush and sweeping swords-and-sorcery romance" — The New York Times

Assassin's Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in this gripping, epic fantasy romance trilogy.

My heart wasn't part of the deal when I bargained for my life,
But assassins so rarely keep their word.

Exiled Charmer Leena Edenfrell is running out of time. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts—an offense punishable by death—and now there's a price on her head. With the realm's most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes Noc an offer he can't refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

Plagued by a curse that kills everyone he loves, Noc agrees to Leena's terms in hopes of finding a cure. Never mind that the dark magic binding the assassin's oath will eventually force him to choose between Leena's continued survival...and his own.

The Beast Charmer Series:
Kingdom of Exiles
The Frozen Prince (coming early 2020)
The Shattered Crown (coming late 2020)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492689386
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Series: Beast Charmer Series , #1
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 91,144
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.88(h) x (d)

About the Author

Maxym M. Martineau is an article and social media writer by day and a fantasy romance author by night. When she's not getting heated over broken hearts, she enjoys playing video games, sipping a well-made margarita, competing in just about any sport, and of course, reading. She earned her bachelor's degree in English Literature from Arizona State University and lives with her husband and fur babies in Arizona. Connect with her at MaxymMartineau.com or through Twitter and Instagram @maxymmckay.

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Kingdom of Exiles 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
ChristinaMarieReads 21 days ago
This was a fantastic debut fantasy romance novel that I enjoyed thoroughly! This book was an exciting, edge of your seat page turner that included some very likeable characters, exotic magical beasts, and a very interesting storyline. The main character Leena Edenfrell is a beast charmer who is able to charm and tame wild magical beasts. She is then bound to them, cares for them, can gift them to whomever she deems worthy, and can summon them from their world when she needs their assistance. She is on the run as she has been exiled for a crime she didn't commit and a bounty has been placed on her head - with the realm's most talented murder-for-hire. The assassin guild completes every job they are assigned as they are magically marked to complete the job or their life is forfeit. What happens then when Leena falls in love with the head assassin and he with her?
KimHeniadis 2 days ago
Loved this book. More people need to read it! As, Jessica, my partner in reading at Books Don’t Review Themselves podcast says, “This book needs to become a movie.” Or as I say, “A TV show.” If you are new to Fantasy Romance, this is a great one to start with. There are various kingdoms and people’s names that are not as familiar as Ryan or Madysen, but Maxym Martineau does well with the progression of the story, not going to so many different places that you don’t know which town the characters are in. And as far as having unfamiliar names, Martineau does such a fantastic job at character building that you quickly learn who everyone is. For a series debut it really is amazing how quickly the author made me feel for these characters. As far as all the new beasts go, I could see this getting confusing, but there is a Beastiary at the back of the book that gives you descriptions of them, as well as a few drawings. I would love to see a colored Beastiary with all the creatures Martineau makes up, and perhaps that is in the works for the future. While I enjoyed the whole book, I did enjoy the scenes with the beasts just a smidge more. I am excited to see all the new creatures Martineau comes up with in the next two books, The Frozen Prince (coming out February 25, 2020) and The Shattered Crown (coming late 2020). I was worried at the beginning that a love triangle would form between Leena, Noc, and the bartender, Dez. But I am so happy this didn’t happen! Book series have been ruined for me when the love triangle keeps getting dragged out. And as far as the sex scenes go, they felt so natural to the book. They didn’t feel like they were added just to have more sex in the book. The way they were written was very tantalizing, and very real. When you pictured them, you didn’t question if bodies could bend that way, or if that position would be really uncomfortable. And I really liked that Leena came first without Noc having to finish at the same time as her, as so many other books do. I highly recommend this, especially if you enjoy Fantasy or Fantasy Romance. And this is a series that I am really looking forward to continuing.
SummonFantasy 2 days ago
Kingdom of Exiles is an extraordinary story that skillfully combines adventure, thriller, and romance into a gripping read. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them meets Assassins Creed is an excellent description for Kingdom of Exiles. We’re introduced to a fantastic realm where Leena is a charmer. This means that she can tame and bound with beasts (magical creatures with different supernatural abilities). Leena can summon them at will, and her beasts can protect her. Blamed for a crime she didn’t commit, Leena is exiled by the Charmers Council and forced to make do by selling her beasts. Things go from bad to worse when an assassin tries to kill her, and she finds out there’s a bounty on her head. Her only chance to survive is to make a deal with the devil. Little does she know about the magic of Cruor’s Oath – assassins are bound by magic to complete their contracts. And thus the adventure begins. “You’re a long way from home, Charmer. I will neither remove the bounty nor permit you to leave here safely.” […] She was so fragile. Breakable. Hard to believe she’d somehow managed to trap my second-in-command. What made her so dangerous that she warranted a bounty?" She strikes a bargain with Noc, the leader of the Assassins’ Guild by offering him beasts in exchange for her freedom. Since she’s unaware of the Cruor’s Oath, he can easily deceive her to get the promised beasts. He plans to kill her as soon as she delivers her end of the bargain. As you can expect, that doesn’t happen. Slowly but surely enemies turn into lovers, but they both have secrets and trust issues, so they fight their feelings. That part of the story was well developed and didn’t fall into the fake insta-romance trap. He was an assassin. I was his bounty. There were so many things that could possibly go wrong— for both of us. And yet, no matter how hard I tried to fight it, I found myself drawn to him. Pulled to him like the ocean waves were guided by the moon. Read the full review here: https://www.summonfantasy.com/book-reviews/kingdom-of-exiles-by-maxym-martineau
SarahSmith 9 days ago
I was quite taken in by this book. It was a little hard to get into at first, but once I got a few chapters in it became imperative that I finish it as quickly as possible. I loved Leena and couldn't help but root for her. She got dealt a lot of bad hands, but still managed to pull herself through. Noc was such a fascinating character and seeing him trying to distance himself while being magnetically pulled to Leena was fabulous. The idea of beasts and the charmers that can tame them was fascinating and I can't wait for more from the series. I hope that we see more of the secondary characters since they all seemed to have their own stories to tell.
Anonymous 10 days ago
Kingdom of Exiles, The Beast Charmer By: Macym M. Martineau I am completely charmed by this book. Macym M. Martineau has created an exciting fantasy world full of magic, adventure, and mystery. I love how we explore relationships between people and the beasts in this world, especially the concept of family and trust building throughout the novel. In this book we follow Leena, an exiled charmer who is forced to sell beasts, animals she bonds with, in order to survive and Noc an assassin who is contracted to kill her by any means necessary because failure means his own death. Both have dark pasts and secret agendas, together along with a couple more assassins embark on a mission throughout the realm. I don’t want to give much away because I think that going into a fantasy adventure with little information is the best way to enjoy the story. There was no dull moment, I thought that the storyline kept pace, the only thing I wish that was more present was the moments with a charmer and their beast. Nevertheless I really enjoyed myself reading this book and I am looking forward to the next installment. Thank You to NetGalley for allowing me to read this novel for an honest review
Cali-Jewel 12 days ago
Heart pounding action, fun witty banter, emotionally thrilling highs and lows not to mention danger around every twist and turn this magical adventure has all this and so much more.... was a exciting and highly entertaining read from beginning to end and I look forward to more to come.
SevenAcreBooks 15 days ago
This was so good! The world building was amazing and if any book gets the Netflix treatment this year-it needs to be this one. I would love to see all of the beautiful, colorful beasts brought to life. Leena is a beast charmer, gifted with the magical talent to tame wild beasts and bond them to her. Betrayed by her first love and ostracized by her people, Leena is on the run trying to curate a collection of beasts that will give her enough power to finally clear her name. After surviving a murderous attack, Leena is forced to join Noc and his clan of formally dead assassins known as Cruor. Leena has two choices, die or supply the group with beasts. Leena chooses to live. Surrounded by people who would love to see her dead, Leena must find the assassins their beasts, discover who put a hit out on her, and survive falling for the deadly leader of Cruor. This one is so much fun! I love all the descriptions of the beasts and their special gifts. Not only can Leena bond with them and make them appear, but they live in a magical beast realm that sounds amazing. A little like Fantastic Beasts but way deadlier and infinitely sexier. Leena is incredibly strong and intelligent. She has a lot going on-death threats, being exiled from her people, dangerous beasts, a man that can kill her if he falls in love with her-it's a lot to process. Because yep, not only is Noc a formerly dead assassin tasked with killing her, he's also cursed. I love a good curse. Magical worlds, beautiful beasts, intense fight scenes, found family, super steamy love scenes-this checks all the boxes. And, it's the first book in a series… Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this title. All opinions and mistakes are my own.
Hawtmess 16 days ago
*I requested and received a copy of this via NetGalley and the publisher SourceBooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review* 4-4.5 Stars! What a fantastic ride. This whole concept was right up my ally. Beast charmers, Shadow Assassins, and forbidden romance all twisted up with intrigue and maybe even a little prophecy, all these things were bound to suck me up and they of course did just that. I kept getting so many video game vibes from it. Being a gamer, especially in my younger days, I played so many games where beast tamers, and charmers were actual roles that could be played and so I had such a sense of nostalgia with this book. Even some of the newer games I've played like "Monster Hunter World" had some really intense similarities. I love loved this concept! Really the possibilities are endless here when it comes to the different creatures and what they can do. It would take an incredibly vast imagination to tackle something like this. It was very unique and enjoyable read. FMC, Leena, is a beast charmer, a person who can use their very nature to sooth and tame certain beasts and collect them. Yes this was Pokemon esk but really they aren't going out taming beasts in order to battle them and become the best in the world... Leena tames beasts to give them a good home in the beast world, to love them, and to keep them from those that would misuse them. After being cast out of her homeland after some shadiness and backstabbing, Lenna is living a life in exile dreaming of the home she has lost and spending all of her time trying to get back home. Unfortunately for Leena, the past she has left behind is still hunting her, and now has recruited an immortal assassins guild to do the dirty work. These assassins complete their task or forfeit their own lives in the process. Leena with the help of her beasts thwart the first assassin, and strike a deal with the leader of the guild, NOC. 4 Beasts in exchange for her freedom... Noc and his most trusted 3 guild members journey with her to collect the beasts all the while Noc plots to betray her in the end. That is until Noc starts to fall for her... but Noc has his own curse. One that literally kills everyone who loves him so for Leena to ever have any feelings for him Noc must pay a price. One he had decided already he wouldn't pay. All the while Leeena's enemies from home are plotting and planning.. I think, for me, the only thing that was missing was the world building and backstory. There is enough here to picture the scenes so thats not the issue. But there was not enough for a real understanding of the world itself and how we have gotten where we are. There are vague mentions of a backstory that may or may not really influence the future so I'm thinking that the author may have left this vague so as to go into it later. I would have really liked a little better understanding of what was happening in the world tho. It would have explained why the people in it were making the decisions that they were making. I just didn't understand really why the antagonists were after Leena.. what was going on in the world that they thought they needed to destroy her to save themselves? I understand not wanting the truth to get out but there was something else going on that we really just didn't get into enough for me personally. All in all this was a phenomenal concept that I hope I get to visit a lot in the upcoming years. Super great time!
Bryher 17 days ago
Review Originally Posted at Ramblings From This Chick http://ramblingsfromthischick.blogspot.com/2019/06/arc-review-kingdom-of-exiles-by-maxym-martineau.html Kingdom of Exiles is a debut for new author Maxym M. Martineau. It was advertised on Goodreads as, "Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin's Creed." I LOVED Fantastic Beasts so it grabbed my attention, and I read the synopsis. Don't really know anything about Assassin's Creed but that's ok. Leena Edenfrell has been exiled from her kind, Beast Charmers, though she keeps the skills she learned before her exile. In order to survive, she sells beasts that she charms for people, which is against everything she learned from the Charmers. She does the best she can, and it is all to go towards finding redemption for her false crimes. Unfortunately for her, she gets targeted by an assassin, one who though she defeats, means there is a bounty on her head that the entire organization will go after her to fulfill. Noc is the leader of an undying people in a place called Cruor. They are assassins for hire. When Leena walks into their home with one of his brothers hostage, she immediately has his attention. They strike a deal; she will acquire four beasts for him and his people will spare her life. Noc hopes there is a possibility a beast can stop a curse put upon him. He is also clever though to create a loophole in their bargain so he can still keep his contract. Leena, Noc, and three other Cruor members set out to find the beasts. All the while, the assassins do what they've learned they shouldn't do to get their job done. They get to know Leena and start to believe in her innocence. All the while, she sneaks into Noc's thoughts and heart, which could be fatal for them both. Within this emotional struggle and new world was a great starting point for a fantasy romance. I loved learning about some of the beasts described, but I was disappointed that as the book progressed, we learned less about new creatures. The love interest between Leena and Noc wasn't as convincing to me, though it wasn't horrible. I found myself more interested in the three other members of the group. For me this book had a great build up and idea, and then around the halfway mark, it began to lose my interest. Despite that, I did enjoy the tale overall and I hope to have the opportunity to continue reading the series. Definitely a great debut! **ARC provided by Publisher**
AthenaMae 17 days ago
This book had it all - Crazy edge of your seat adventure, fantastical creatures, and an AMAZING love story. If you like those three things, then you will LOVE this book. Honestly, I'll probably still pick up a physical copy of this book when it releases just because I thought it was that good and I want it in my library! “I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
Anonymous 17 days ago
Great+start+to+a+new+series%21+This+world+of+Charmers+and+shadow+assassins+sucked+me+right+in%21+Really+looking+forward+to+the+next+book+%3A%29
Mermer 18 days ago
A very good YA Fanasty magical story. Lena is a Beast Charmer and her friend accused her of a crime and a bounty is placed on her. Noc accepts the bounty and goes after Lena. Lena and Noc arrived at an agreement that's where all the action,drama,twists, suspense begins. Very compelling story. Really like all the characters and magical beasts. Looking forward to the next. Voluntarily reviewed.
Twicky 18 days ago
I received this ARC for an honest review. Maxym Martineau is a new to me author. I admit I was a little nervous because I have read some not for me books, but Maxym Martineau was a nice surprise. I really enjoyed this book. The author’s character and world building was well done. I was able to see the author’s world and characters. This story is about Leena and Noc. Leena is a charmer. Who is a person that creates a bond with different creatures and the creatures choose them and serve them. Noc is an assassin who leads the Cruor. The Cruor is an assassin for hire. They can control shadows and turn them into weapons. Noc was hired to kill Leena. He sent his second in command, Kost, to do the job. Leena was able to bind Kost before he got to do the job. She wanted to barter with the Cruor for her life. When she arrived, things did not go as planned. I stayed up late just to find out what happens next. I recommend this book, and I will definitely read the next book.
thereadingchick 18 days ago
Kingdom of Exiles has all of the elements of a great romantic fantasy adventure. I loved the newness of the world Maxym M. Martineau developed. I don’t think I’ve read a fantasy novel that had an advanced level of Beast Charmer characters and the little that was revealed in this novel only makes me want more to read. There were elements of magic and a mysteriousness to the Order of Cruor assassins, the way they used shadows to move quickly or jump from place to place was a little bit reminiscent of Christine Feehan’s Shadow Rider series, although this setting is completely different. I liked that the assassins were revived after death but could still get someone pregnant? I definitely wanted to learn how that would be possible! Kingdom of Exiles also used my favorite romantic trope of enemies to lovers. I L-O-V-E when two adversaries come to admire traits in the other that makes them fall in love, yet, they are resistant to it happening. This novel portrayed that tension really well and kept me reading that “just one more” chapter. The only negative for me about this novel was that it started so strong but somewhere around 2/3’s of the way through the pace slowed just enough for me to get impatient. I’ll admit to rushing through a couple of chapters until that pace picked back up again towards the end of the book. The ending was great, leaving the reader with a little hint about what direction the next book may take. I just wish this author had the next book coming out soon! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I was given a free ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
DebraSchwartz1971 18 days ago
I was surprised by how much I loved this book! The world building really took me in, The charmers' animals were so magical; the author's descriptions of the animals were so well formed that I could envision them, The assassins were a surprise since I expected stone cold killers but found people who were anything but cold, unless they were in assassin mode. And then there are the main characters, Leena the Charmer and Noc the assassin. Leena had so much goodness in one person, so much love for her animals and so much sorrow for the loss of her homeland. Noc, the head of the assassin guild, was such a troubled soul, burdened with responsibilities; I kept wondering how he was going come through everything. I received an ARC from NetGalley and this is my honest review.
Eloise_In_Paris 18 days ago
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but took a chance. And I’m glad I did. An interesting and original story. I liked that this isn’t a coming of age or a coming into magic story. The leads are who they are, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t growth and self-discovery. I loved the beasts, and this had more of a fantastical pokemon feel than the comparison made to Fantastic Beasts. There are assassins in this story, but I don’t get the Assassins Creed comparison either. The “guild” is part of the story but it’s not actually about that. This is an adventure story and a quest. I thought all of the good guys were well written, and I am anxious to find out what happens to them. There were two big problems though. The world building and the bad guys. I never got a clear picture of what kind of world this is. I think it was supposed to be Steam Punkish, but there weren’t clear enough descriptions of the three places visited. Also, the villains were too veiled in secrecy. Even if some characters were in the dark we the readers should’ve been at least clued in on motivations if not detailed plans. That being said I did enjoy this book and I am looking forward to book two.
Sheena Martinez 19 days ago
Hands down a phenomenal read from beginning to end! There just any enough words to express how immensely I've enjoyed this. The freshing concept that was filled with action-packed supernatural and paranormal elements almost left me to my knees with the author great writing style and should we also mention the characters? Needless to say that it became more than difficult to choose who was my favorite. Was it Noc, Calem, Kost, Leena or the other characters that left a good impression on me? I'm pretty sure there wasn't a character I didn't like and that includes Wynn and Winnow. Moreso each character, rather big or small, brought something to the story and that ultimately lead to the spectacular cliffhanger, if you want to call it that. This was definitely a series where Assassin’s Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and it's worth the long read. During the course of this read, I seriously couldn't put this down and before I knew it I have made it to the epilogue but fortunately enough there is still much more to the story and I can't wait for the release of the of remainder parts of “The Beast Charmer Series”. Let's just say 2020 couldn't come fast enough!
escape_inabook 19 days ago
This book is phenomenal. I was immediately transported into this world and loved every page. The author created such a lush other world... I was wholly engrossed in this story and couldn’t pry myself away from it. Upon my first read coming to an end I was blown away at how romantic the story was while still maintaining the otherworldly mystique of fantasy fiction. Martineau is both a skilled writer and storyteller. I received a free e-arc of this title from the publisher. All comments/opinions are my own.
TeresaReviews 19 days ago
A huge thank you to NetGalley, Maxym M. Martineau, and Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read Kingdom of Exiles in exchange for an honest review. This book starts off with an assassination attempt on the main female point of view character, Leena. She thwarts her assailant with her beasts and has him take her to their main guild to fight for the removal of the assassination mark on her. Leena is a Beast Charmer; she can tame and summon creatures from the beast realm. Noc is an assassin and a leader. He doesn't really like Leena at first, but perhaps he can use her to his own gain. He promises to spare her life if she tames a beast for each of his close friends and himself. Leena agrees to these terms, and together the group sets out to find the right beast for each of them. Noc plans on going against his word, but when he starts to fall in love with Leena, the situation grows complicated. There's another catch as well: the assassins are not born, they are raised. From the dead. By their leader. So special assassins with special powers and special lives after death. Or something like that. There is yet another complication. Noc has had a curse placed on him that slowly kills any he loves or who fall in love with him. If he wants to be with Leena, he needs to remove the curse, and only a Gyss beast can do this for him.  Leena needs to find out who placed the mark on her, and it's not her ex, Noc must find a way to gain Leena's trust as well as remove his curse, and he needs to keep the loyalty with his assassin guild. Leena has been exiled by the Charmer's on a set of lies. She needs to find a way to get an honest in with the high council, and for that, she needs to tame a Myad, something she needs willing blood for. As Noc and Leena play manipulative games with each other, their hearts begin to pull them together. This book actually surprised me. It's fast-paced with constant beast-taming action and heart-pounding romance. The cover is gorgeous and fits the book perfectly. Though a bit long, I like how the book feels both concluded and not. There is definitely a number of open questions at the end that may be explored in one or two more books. The writing style is exquisite and fun to read as well. Overall, a really great book I would recommend to lovers of fantasy and romance, especially all in one book. I haven't read an adult fantasy romance in many years that moves my emotions in the way Kingdom of Exiles does!
vickeyu 19 days ago
I Plowed Through It! While I am new to the fantasy fiction genre, I had high hopes for Kingdom of Exiles. The first few chapters were painful, but I figured I needed to get up to speed on the background. The author does a very thorough job of describing every scene, every detail of every player and the history of both Leena and Noc. After I felt comfortable with the back story, I thought the pace would pick up. I struggled to stay with the book, hoping that something would happen that would make everything come together. In the end, this is just a fantasy love story where everything imaginable can happen and does. The darkness and constant struggle gets tedious and boring. I am sure this tale will have some readers totally engrossed, but not this one.
Anonymous 20 days ago
Three and a half stars. Leena Edenfrell is a Charmer, someone who can tame fantastical beasts, she was exiled from her homeland after being betrayed by her lover and now lives on the fringes of society selling magical beasts to suckers. If she could only charm a Myad she might be able to prove her innocence to the Charmers' council, but to do so she would need the blood of a killer, freely given. Noc has a mysterious past but now leads the notorious assassins guild of Cruor, individuals who have been raised from the dead and will accept bounty for kills. His guild accepts a contract to kill Leena but she bests his assassin Calem and Noc sees an opportunity to lift the curse which blights his life - he will hold off killing Leena and escort her on her journey to find the Myad providing she gives him and his followers four beasts, including the Gyss which can grant wishes. As Noc and his assassins travel with Leena they all learn more about each other, and Noc and Leena get closer, but with Noc's curse and Leena's bounty is there any future? This is billed as Assassins Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and it's a pretty good description, albeit there aren't many assassinations, we see lots of weird and wonderful beasts with amazing powers. I loved the characters and I want to know more about their back stories and histories. On the downside, there was quite a lot of sex for a fantasy novel, it felt a bit too contemporary for the genre and pulled me out of the genre. But otherwise I thought this was a great novel, full of mystery and great world building, I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
FadedPages 20 days ago
5/5 Stars I'll be honest. When I pick up a romantic adult fantasy book, I don't expect that much fantasy out of the bedroom but holy smokes! I was pleasantly surprised with the immersive world building and the depth of the creature lore in this beautiful new series as well as the intense slow burn romance! Synopsis Leena has a price on her head, but it really shouldn't come as a shock. After being exiled from her home, Leena was forced to break the law by selling her precious beasts in order to survive. Noc is the head of Cruor, a mysterious order of assassins that accepted a contract to kill Leena. When Leena shows up on Noc's doorstep, they make a tenuous bargain. In exchange for capturing several beasts for Noc and three of his men, his order will not fulfill the death contract on Leena's life. If only the bargain made was easily kept and the secrets they hold couldn't hurt each other or threaten the world around them! Characters I loved Leena from the very first chapter! She's a survivor and it showed with her strength and determination. I loved how complex Leena's character was because the story also showed how much she loved and cared for her beasts. Noc's character was just as interesting with the brooding secretive nature and fierce loyalty to his assassins whom he saw as brothers. There was plenty of chemistry going on in this enemies to lovers trope between the main characters! I was very appreciative that it was a slow burn romance and didn't feel rushed to the point of instalove. The romance and sexy scenes were definitely worth the wait! I also loved the side characters including Kost, Ozias and Calem. The banter between the guys was fun to read and their interesting, individual natures added more depth to the overall story and background of the assassin's order. However, some of the best characters were the beasts. I loved how well written and thought out each beast was in this story. I felt like I was reading a lush fantasy without the added wordage that made you feel like you were stuck in a high fantasy. I can't wait to see new characters and beasts in the books to come! Pacing and Point of View The overall pacing was very well done! It had similar pacing to a YA or new adult novel with a slow burn adult romance. There were two points of view, Leena and Noc. I loved seeing a male's point of view in a romance! I feel like it's so rare and shouldn't be! The reader truly got a better sense of his past, closeness with his brotherhood of assassins, and thoughts throughout this adventure. Overall Overall, I really loved this story that was packed with interesting creatures, complex characters, fantasy, adventure and a sweet slow-burn romance. I cannot recommend this book enough if you love a good balance of fantasy and adult romance! Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for allowing me the opportunity to read this amazing digital ARC early in exchange for an honest review. This was hands down an amazing debut novel and I cannot wait to see where this series goes next!
ThePedestrianEquestrian 21 days ago
As soon as I read the first line of the description I knew I wanted to read Kingdom of Exiles. Touted as a cross between Fantastic Beasts and Assassins Creed, that description hit the nail on the head. I'm not usually into sci-fy/fantasy type books but this one seemed too good to pass up, and am I glad that I requested it! Action and suspense from page one, Leena is a Charmer from Hireath, sent to exile for a crime she insists she din't commit. And she's on a mission to charm a difficult enough beast to earn the respect of the Council for a chance to plead her case. Until she's notified that she's acquired a tail. Using one of her beasts, she manages to best the assassin from Cruor assigned to carry out the bounty placed on her. Insisting on being taken to Cruor, where she strikes a deal with Noc, leader of Cruor. In exchange for four beasts - one for each of his three best men, and one for himself - the bounty on Leena's head wouldn't be carried out by any of his men. Both are characters of cunning wit and sharp humor, who quickly learn they must work together for their deal to work. While the client continues to put pressure on Noc to carry out the bounty, he insists a timeframe was not in the contract, and he will carry it out as he sees fit. Leena and Noc also quickly learn not to underestimate the other. Neither is fully honest, and both are carrying potentially deadly secrets. Kost, Calem, and Ozias (Oz, as Leena refers to him) escort them on the beast catching trip and Leena comes to enjoy the company of the men hired to kill her as much as they enjoy hers. Each of the characters are different and wonderfully written. Each carries secrets, and while Kost and Noc are reserved and calculated, Calem is an uncontrollable flirt with a deadly lack of self control (probably why he is the assassin in Cruor with the most kills), and Oz is shy but lethal. They are raised from the dead but Leena keeps seeing glimpses of the humans they may have once been. The beasts in the story are wonderful, my only complaint is that they could have had a bit more focus put on them. There was not a lot of description of their appearance, but a strong emphasis was put on describing each of their powers. While Poof the Groober is sweet and fluffy, Lola the Laharock and Onyx the Myad are terrifying in their power. Each are individual and I loved the way Leena loved each, regardless of their power. Kingdom of Exiles alternates between Leena and Noc's points of view and it gives great depth to the way the story is told to have both perspectives. It gives the reader an exceptional insight into the difficulties of both sides of their deal, while allowing us to empathise with both characters. To really understand them and their motivations. As a first novel I really enjoyed what Maxym did with the story, and I truly hope that there will be more to come from her. I look forward to reading more about Cruor.
Pokeybooboo 21 days ago
Kingdom of Exiles is Maxym Martineau's first book in her The Beast Charmer sci fi fantasy romance series. I used to love paranormal romance and couldn't get enough of it, but the genre started to get a little stale for me. How many books about vampires and werewolves can one read? However, it's books like this that pull me back in and make it all refreshing and exciting. Leena Edenfrell is a beast charmer who has been exiled from her home for a crime she did not commit. Totally broke, she sells her magical beasts (which is an offense punishable by death) in order to survive. A bounty is put on her head; however, she bests the assassin who is after her. After bringing him to the assassin's guild, she makes a deal with their leader, Noc. She will exchange magical beasts in exchange for the bounty on her to be lifted. Noc agrees, but little does Leena know that Noc still plans on her assassination... The first part of this book goes along at a steady pace, introducing us to a new world and characters. Not too much is thrown at you at once, which would make everything more confusing. Once we are familiar with this new world, things really take off! Not only are the magical beasts fascinating, but also the assassins who really are a band of brothers. Some of my favorite parts of the story are when the assassins bond with their chosen beasts. The romantic relationship between Leena and Noc builds slowly, then totally ignites. This book caused my heart to beat faster, my mouth to grin and my eyes to shed many tears. I cannot wait to revisit this fascinating world that Ms. Martineau has created! I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
moonfox1234 21 days ago
I enjoyed this entertaining read. I thought the story line was quite engaging and offered a excellent blend of fantasy and romance. As I read through I could easily recognize elements and from where the author drew inspiration from. I did think that sometimes the story felt bogged down but it never lasted long enough to cause me to lose interest. Leena and Noc were compelling characters and I did think they had great chemistry. I look forward to reading book two and finding out what happens to these characters and their relationship next.