A sweet romance.
Pretty admirable characters.
What more could I have asked for?
SOOTHSAYER by Kathryn Amurra
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Romance
Series: Path of the Soothsayer #1
Published: 10 May 2020 | Read: 9 December 2020
No. of Pages: 212
Click here to view Trigger WarningsDeath, Forced Marriage, Slavery
Aurelia has always valued love and happiness over titles and power. Though her kind-hearted father has allowed her to turn away suitor after suitor in pursuit of a love she cannot yet define, when he dies her choices die with him. Knowing that marrying the elderly governor of a neighboring province can secure her mentally challenged brother’s safety, she gives up on her dream of finding love in return for his protection.
Cassius is the ill-fated captain of the governor’s guard tasked with escorting the Lady Aurelia and her unpleasant aunt to the governor’s estate. Since the soothsayer Tullia foretold an early death for him, Cassius wants nothing more than to keep his hands busy with labor and his heart free from any connections to the world he believes he will be leaving soon.
As they work through a series of misfortunes on the road to the governor’s province, the words of the soothsayer start to make sense, and together they find the courage to allow their true destiny to unfold.
Thank you to the author, Kathryn Amurra, for kindly giving me a copy for an honest review.
I wasn’t expecting to love the characters that much.
But I did. Especially Aurelia! She is such a brave and determined young woman, unlike many others in that time. She willingly sacrificed her own happiness for the sake of keeping her mentally challenged brother safe by marrying a man three time her age, essentially sealing the next decade from anything more interesting life could offer.
She finally allowed herself to cry, letting all of her sadness, frustration, and loneliness out in sob after heart-wrenching sob.”
I loved how she wasn’t just the perfect heroine, we got a great insight into her fears of a young and innocent woman with a heavy burden on her shoulder, we saw her break at times… and I truly admire her for still pressing on because of her brother. Her journey through this tough and emotional time was just amazing.
And then we have Cassius. Honestly, I was extremely frustrated and irked by his curt manner in the beginning! Thankfully, he warmed up after a while… He became simply charming, and seeing his sense of duty and the guilt he carries made him all the more intriguing and endearing.
“But now I know that it is not Death that seeks you, but you that seeks him, and I am merely an obstacle for you in that pursuit.”
If you all know me, then you’ll know I am not the greatest fan of the enemies to lovers trope. And entering this book I could definitely sniff it out, though it was more of a hate to love, not so much “enemy” (that’s a tad too dramatic!), thus I was a little hesitant. My fears were kind of confirmed in the way the romance was predictable and the starting was quite forced and… awkward.
Despite the rough start which displeased me a bit, I found myself liking the couple more and more! Gimme all that slow burn! I truly enjoyed seeing annoyance stripped and fondness slowly developing between Mr. Bad Mood and Little Miss Sunshine!
After the ice broke and the relationship became “real”, I kept smiling at all the angst and longing which was so sweet in the midst of the knowledge that their love was forbidden… throw in all the obstacles yeah!
“She said that some say life is a journey, but she also said others say life is a series of journeys, each one leading to the next.”
This book is called “Soothsayer” but surprisingly Soothsayers didn’t play as huge of a role as I imagined, but I was still pleased by how it was kind of an important background (you know what I mean?). A Soothsayer is something like a priest who has a special connection to the Gods and can prophesize, usually of people’s futures.
Did I mention how much I love prophecies (thank you Percy Jackson haha)?
Okay, I admit there were some events that were way too coincidental and got my eyes rolling a bit. Nonetheless, I loved the theme of fate and the different interpretations of the Soothsayer’s prophecies which played a significant role in driving the characters!
Addressing the plot, I would say Soothsayer felt more of a relationship driven novel to me and I didn’t mind the lack of a big plot! The writing was simple but engaging as well, though certain parts felt a little draggy such as the long dialogues . One thing I particularly loved was the dual POV in third person, somehow there was this distinct feel to Aurelia and Cassius’ voices, something which I enjoyed immensely!
“I give it freely of my own will, and I choose to give it to you. Accept it or don’t, as you wish.”
Overall, I feel that Soothsayer is a solid historical romance that definitely surpassed my expectations with it’s endearing characters, swoony but sweet romance, and the little touches of fate and prophecies!