Review: Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria
I am so glad that one of my friends recommended this book as one with an asexual character because it was AMAZING. And it had nothing to do with one of the characters being asexual. It was just fantastic in its own right.
While Cassa annoyed me at times, I could totally understand her motivations and her anger and hatred. While she wasn't my favorite, I could sympathize with her plight.
Alys was a great balance to Cassa's headstrong ego and was also an LGBTQAI+ rep (asexual), a plus-sized rep, AND a mental illness rep (anxiety). But she was so much more than just a rep - she was an important part of the novel and I loved it. She is probably tied with Newt as my favorite character.
Evander was an interesting character as well (they all were). His bloodbond with silver came in handy several times but, once again, he was more than just his gifts. Soria made sure that I cared about what happened to all the characters and that included Evander. In the end, when he wasn't using his bond with silver as much, I ached for him because I knew how much the bond was a part of him.
Newt was such a sweet boy. He might have had a world-ending hatred inside him (his words) but he never let it out. He was always the calm, quiet one. I loved him so much. I felt for him when he kept remembering the "lessons" his father taught him. While it was not explicitly stated, I get the feeling that he might have had some slight PTSD because of what he had been through. I know I would if I had a father like his. He never let that stop him though!
We didn't get a ton of Vesper, but we did get enough that when she cried I did as well. She was a character pulled this way and that. Trying to do what was right, even if that meant betrayal of one friend or another. I was genuinely worried for her near the end when she was dealing with so many memories. I was afraid she might not be able to handle it.
And the villains. The Council and Solan. I honestly don't know who I hate more. While what Solan was doing was despicable, he wouldn't have felt the need to do it or would have been able to do it if not for the Council. It's pretty rare that I find a story with two equal villains, but Soria managed to pull it off flawlessly. I'm not really hiding this as a spoiler because it's pretty clear right from the start who the villains of the story are. What keeps you guessing is which one is worse. That I will leave up you.
It loses one star because I could totally see the ending coming, but only one because everything else was so fantastic that I didn't care at all. When I got to the end, it didn't matter that I knew what was going to go down, I was so invested in the book that I needed to see that ending follow through.
Basically, this book is an absolute gem and I am so glad it was recommended to me.