The Foxglove King Published by Orbit on March 7, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Fantasy / Romance
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In this lush, romantic epic fantasy series from a New York Times bestselling author, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.
When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.
Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, 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 and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.
Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne'er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.
But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.
In The Foxglove King, we have Lore, who, at 13, escaped the cult she was raised in the catacombs of Dellaire. As a result of being born there, she has the power to channel Mortem’s magic born from death, and it is illegal. To make a living, she runs poison for her adopted moms, but soon she is recruited by the king to spy on his son. What she discovers and finds out about herself are eye-opening and involve a twisty plot and some love. The way the channeling of Mortem is looked down on by everyone but is used by the church for religious purposes is a hypocrisy not overlooked by LoreLore. Throughout the story, the theme of religion being used to suit the pursuit of power is an exciting plot thread to follow in this story. I was a little creeped out by all the reanimated death, so if you have an issue with zombie animals or people, you might want to avoid this book.