This was my first book by this author and I really enjoyed the writing style. The story flowed well and I really enjoyed the magic system plus I just love me a political fantasy with high stakes and this delivered!
Definitely adding to this to my "to buy" stack for my library. Beautiful story, well balanced with action, romance, intrigue, politics...a good solid YA read.
Such a great book! I enjoyed reading this one so much! I highly recommend this book. Side note: the cover!!!!
this was a great scifi novel, the characters were great and I enjoyed the plot of the book. I loved the idea of The Unspoken One.
ولا هذا الكتاب كنت اقدر اخلصه للاسف بس الي قراته عجبني واتمنى ان اقدر ارد اكمل الكتاب قبل نهاية السنه
I received an advanced reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley
4.5 stars - this was a fantastic read.
”The air stirs and from one second to the next, he’s standing before me.”
Princess Ameera lives under her father’s cruel reign over a kingdom where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. He rules with magic and cruelty. When Ameera is facing marriage to a king who is even crueller than her father, she is desperate enough for a reprieve that she dares to call upon The Unspoken One. In summoning him, she knows the punishment for doing so but never in her wildest dreams did she think about the rewards.
”I don’t know if there’s any way for me to have you, but I want you with all the hope I have inside of me”
This story was captivating with a well-developed and intricate plot. I loved how the author spun a tale of horror, magic, loyalty and love. Ameera was defiant, courageous and soft-hearted. She was so gutsy and incredibly stoic. I loved the pockets of happiness and joy she found, and the strength she took from her loving supporters. My only niggle was that I felt that sometimes the vocabulary used didn’t quite fit with the overall style of the story. However, do not let that deter you, as it was a fab story with solid characters, a strong storyline, and a very satisfying love story in the midst of some stark brutality.
Some books call you when you take a break, and you're equally eager to get back to the story/characters. Unspoken by Ari Reavis was one of those books. The book falls under the category of fantasy and romance. A kind, courageous and determined female protagonist. A charming, just and powerful male protagonist (whose powers have been restricted for some reason). And their passionate and unique love story.
The writing is engaging. The dialogues are very interesting. I particularly loved the clandestine meetings and conversations.
There are several twists and turns that keeps you intrigued and interested. And for a change, I liked the prologue and the epilogue.
Just two problems ---
One: there are so many grammatical/typing errors. This book was an advance review copy (Received through Netgalley), so I hope the errors have been rectified, now that the book has been published.
Two: although the ending is satisfying, it could have been crisper. Last two chapters seem a bit stretched unnecessarily.
Overall, a gripping and fascinating read!
That was a very entertaining one. A bit frustrating at some point, cause the plot was a bit slow, but very good as a whole. I liked the Nur universe that I found quite intriguing. Ameera was a great lead character and I liked the 'Unspoken' one. The romance was a bit too quick for me but it worked nonetheless. I liked they were mostly POC also, which is a welcome change from both fantasy and romance genre.
This has been one of my favourite reads for awhile now. I thought the writing was amazingly beautiful, yes it needs a bit of work but it reminded me of my favourite Laini Taylor, it’s almost lyrical in quality. It sets such an atmosphere so much so that even when the pace went slower the atmosphere carried you through as you didn’t want to put it down. I really enjoyed the Ameera , strong willed and fiercely determined, but realistic and one anyone can look up to. I am so glad I requested this on a whim, as it’s been a pleasure to read and I encourage everyone who is even slightly interested to dive in, you won’t regret it.
Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Unspoken is a political fantasy that reminded me very much of Thorn by Initisar Khanani, in the sense that they seemed to have very similar vibes. The story revolves around a politically motivated arranged marriage that the protagonist is being forced into by her father. In a desperate attempt to protect herself, Ameera calls upon a once banished entity called the “Hamza,” and the story pretty much takes off from there. The kingdom that Ameera’s father wants to marry her off to has a monstrous tyrant for a ruler, and Ameera seems to be the only sane person because her father doesn’t seem to realize that he is not protecting his kingdom in any capacity by essentially dropping it in the tyrant’s lap. There’s a lot of discussion surrounding abuse and oppression in relation to how both the kings deal with their kingdoms and it’s pretty nuanced and interesting!
Crappy summaries aside, let me get into the things that I liked about this novel! Straight away, I was really into the writing! It could definitely have used some editing and polishing, and there were bits that were redundant/repetitive, but it also had the classic, epic fantasy feel to it with just a touch of lyricism! It set up the story really nicely, and contributed to building and maintaining a very tense and rich atmosphere throughout!
The story is really high stakes with Ameera’s secret of her being a witch being a life or death thing, and her kingdom on the verge of war, and that insane villain of an emperor being actually psychopathic, and the author really managed to keep the atmosphere tense enough! Even when the pacing was relatively slow and the scenes didn’t seem really relevant to the plot directly, I couldn't stop reading because of how well the atmosphere carried throughout!
I really liked the magic system in the novel too! They did play a little fast and loose with the constraints when it came to the powers of the witches of these kingdoms, and how succession worked and everything like that, but it was still interesting, nonetheless! I LOVED Hamza as an entity in there! This whole eldritch-but-not-really person/djinn determines the inherent morality of a human being and metes out punishment thing was very wild and intriguing and definitely added a lot of character to the story. It definitely was the softest of the soft magic systems, though, so I can see why it might be a little frustrating for readers who don’t prefer that sort of thing.
Coming to the characters now… I really liked Ameera. She was fun, if a little stupid at times. She made for a great narrative perspective, although I would have loved to see a few chapters from Hamza’s perspective as well because there were a few huge chunks of time when they were not together. Also Hamza, as a character seemed to have a lot of potential with him toeing the line between human and inhuman, and he has this entire tragic backstory that was really interesting, so not having his perspective in the book was definitely a missed opportunity, in my opinion. Despite it all though, he was still kind of a generic superman type, and there was nothing really unpredictable or surprising about him. He’s also pretty much a stagnant character through it all so there’s that. The side characters were pretty fun, but not really memorable. The only other character who even baffled me a little was the villain because I wasn’t really sure if he was even all-bad until the end. And I think that’s a really cool portrayal of an abuser because that’s how they tend to be!
The romance between Hamza and Ameera just moves too damn fast for my comfort. They definitely have chemistry, and it had the potential of being an incredibly satisfying slow-burn but they get to love confessions after seeing each other for a few minutes three times and it was like sheesh people, calm down, you know? It’s not really a big part of the novel, all things considered, I guess, but it was definitely jarring. And there were like three graphic sex scenes in the such a short span that it really took me out of the story there for a bit. I understand that this being an adult fantasy romance, it’s to be expected, but it wasn’t the sex scenes themselves as much as it was the lack of proper buildup and tension for me. There’s a lot of emotional and literal hurt/comfort that happens, but it all feels a little shallow because you don’t really see their relationship actually developing. (Also, homeboy was rawdogging it and I thought this woman was gonna get pregnant as part of the plot only and it was very stressful).
Then there’s the relationship between Ameera and her father. It was honestly a little hard to read at times because of how much abuse there was, but I also appreciate that, in a way, the author didn’t shy away from showing you the ugly parts. It wasn’t, like, gratuitous (for the most part, anyway), and there was a lot of commentary about how patriarchal societies tend to treat women they can’t take advantage of and all that good stuff. The author also gave Ameera a really strong female role model and everything! Like I said, this book can be really good, despite its flaws!
Overall, I would say I enjoyed the novel well enough. If you’re into adult romance and political fantasy, you’ll definitely enjoy this. Just make sure you’re looking up the trigger warnings before you do because this book is *not* fluffy! Like, at all!!
I really enjoyed the strong female lead and some of the unexpected choices that she made. This was a story full of magic, adventure, romance, and a coming of age story.
A tale of magic, politics, violence, duty, love and loyalty....
Unspoken by Ari Reavis is the story of Princess Ameera who has lived under her father’s tyrannical rule for years and has endured physical, mental and emotional abuse at his hand. But she is determined to, one day, succeed her father and rule the kingdom of Nur fairly.
This story talks about how she must find a way to get out of a forced arranged marriage to the king of a neighboring kingdom who is known to be abusive and cruel to, not only his people, but also his previous wives. Ameera must save herself first in order to do good for her kingdom. Having found herself in a desperate situation, she looks for help from The Unspoken One, a mystical person banished from the kingdom for crimes unknown. Ameera is successful in summoning the Unspoken One even though it means that she will face harsh punishment if caught. What follows, is the story of how Ameera faces challenge after challenge in order to provide the kingdom of Nur with a fair and just ruler.
This plot is fast paced and intriguing and manages to capture the reader right from the beginning. There are multiple elements in this book but it does not feel too crowded.
Trigger warning: There is an underlying threat of physical, mental and sexual abuse throughout the story. There is also explicit sexual content and violent scenes.
The author presents to our heroine, multiple problems that seem to have no solution. But Ameera is the most fierce, strong, selfless and badass heroine I’ve ever read about. She does not give up even when she is abused and threatened. Her strong sense of duty and love for her kingdom and its people are evident in her actions and thoughts. It is evident in the fact that she unwittingly gains many allies and loyal supporters. Ameera’s character was very well written. The author made her a badass but also made her capable of love and vulnerability. I loved the emphasis given to Ameera’s gowns and head scarves. It really helped the reader see how she wore her clothing as her armor.
After reading the blurb on Goodreads, I expected that the Unspoken One who is talked about with so much fear and mystery, would be a gruff, strong and possibly overbearing hero. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that he is not only strong and fearsome to the evil but also sweet, caring, selfless and an absolute cinnamon role of a hero. I loved how he does not try to solve all of Ameera’s problems by himself. He loves her enough to want to solve all of her problems. But he also respects and trusts her enough to let her do as planned.
Another thing I expected was a little more mystery and suspense about The Unspoken One. I expected the author to take some more time and drop a few more hints before the grand reveal about his identity. But even though, the mystery about who the Unspoken One is, is revealed quite early in the book, it does not take away from the suspense or intrigue of the whole story.
If there is one aspect, I felt was lacking in this story, it was angst. There was a perfect set up for a lot of angst to be felt on Ameera’s part in the non-existent father-daughter relationship between her and the king. There are certainly some lines about how he never loved her and how much he despises her. But it could have been expounded on in greater detail. I felt that it was an opportunity that was missed. But this does not make the book any less incredible.
I can keep writing about this book for another day but I am sure to slip up and give out some spoilers. So, I’m going to stop while I’m ahead and say that this was a fantastic read. In writing Unspoken, Ari Reavis has done a fine job of weaving a tale so grand that it leaves the readers wanting more.
I recommend this book for lovers of fantasy and mystery who also like a little bit of romance in their books.
Find my review on Instagram at this link : https://www.instagram.com/p/CQFg_xytZ1G/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Unspoken, for me, tops the list of hidden gems. The cover and blurb immediately caught my eye and I just had to request for it. But even then I don’t think I knew what I was walking into.
Unspoken was so wonderfully balanced with emotion, plot, writing and characters. So much so that they all get a perfect spot under the light whenever required and never overshadow the other. I’m not sure I expected to breathe through the book so fast, but before I knew it I was at the end of the book.
I think there are many kinds of ways characters fight back and many times books portray the most obvious ways—the overt way. But Ameera is not that kind of fighter. I loved that she found her own unique way to build her future and the future of her Kingdom and people. She stalks this dream of hers with slow and steady steps and through them all she braves through the pain, humiliation and struggle without a whimper. Like my best friend likes to say, “She’s in for the long haul.”
Power is only permanent to those deserving of it. And well, the hero of the book is very very deserving of it. I loved what he brought to the story and how his personality shined alongside Ameera’s, both of them complimenting the other fantastically.
I have to say, I had some surprises along the journey—which is not an easy task to achieve with me. I loved how well sketched-out each character’s personality was and how said personalities were only layered perfectly further into the book. There were many secondary characters that are worthy of mention. They all showed strength that easily matched what one would typically expect to see only in the protagonists. Outside of holding important roles in the book, they also share good scene space. The only reason I’m not revealing any names is so that as a reader, one gets to experience it on their own.
We read the book only through Ameera’s perspective and I loved being in her head and seeing the world through her eyes. I won’t lie, she is a rather ideal character but you never get the feeling of it being impossible or unreal.
The plot is interesting and the writing is tight. The world-building is clear and never staggers the reader.
Five stars! Unspoken is a quick read and still remains an emotional one. Definitely recommend.
Happy reading and stay safe!
I love a good fantasy story with a romantic spin, Unspoken was quite the read. Hopeful characters. Good storytelling. Engaging plot. Interesting character. The worldbuilding was amazing too. My first read by this author and more than likely won't be my last.
Actual rating: 4.75/5⭐️
I want to start by saying this is definitely not what I was expecting.
I am IN LOVE
This is one of the best paced stand-alone fantasies that I’ve read to date.
Usually I’m let down because stand-alone’s start too slow, then the entire story is wrapped up in a few pages and it completely ruins the story.
That is certainly not the case in Unspoken and honestly I have to applaud Ari on that and for delivering what few authors have been able to.
The message in this book is so very important and relative that it pulled me even more into the world and had me rooting for the characters. From women’s rights, equality, oppressed citizens, corruption, abuse of power and toxic, antiquated beliefs of husband’s ownership over their wives.
Ari Reavis’ writing and prose was incredible, somber and moving.
I have two pages of my notebook full of some of my favourite dialogue and lines from the book. It pulled on my heart strings in the most beautiful way. It was sweet and fierce and memorable.
Exactly like the main characters of the story.
Ameera is transcendent.
She is sure to be one many will relate with and idolise.
She is an absolute QUEEN that has nothing to do with the plot.
The relationship between her and Hamza is tender, genuine, steamy and all consuming. I adore it.
Unspoken is worth the read based on just their relationship alone.
But luckily for us, it ticks all the boxes.
Honestly one of my favourite reads this year.
I cannot rave about this enough.
Reasons I didn’t give 5*:
(I usually detract a .05 from the overall rating when they are minor technical issues,)
Errors. There were too many to ignore unfortunately. If I were to purchase this as a physical copy I would be disappointed that more editing and proofreading wasn’t done.
The cover. To me it looks to be cheap and wasn’t attention grabbing. Also the advertising of a series had me confused when I completed the book.
I really think it should be redone to do more justice for the amazing story.
The word choice with the sex scenes were a little strange.
With some more editing, marketing, a cover change and promotion, I truly think this book has the potential to be a Bestseller. I know, I’ll definitely be recommending it!
I hope to have Unspoken on my bookshelf in the near future.
TW- Abuse, physical and mental. Heavy tones of sexual abuse (implied and mentioned)
Attempted sexual assault scene.
Content warning: This is not a YA. This is for adult audiences.
Thank you NetGalley for the eArc
And thank you most of all to Ari Reavis for writing this extraordinary, inspiring novel.
(A variation of this review will be on my accounts, Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, Instagram)
Author Ari Reavis has written an evocative fantasy romance that follows princess Ameeras struggles to free her kingdom of Nur from the tyrannical grip of her father and herself from being wedded off to King Azar of neighboring kingdom Sameer.
Strong of will and fierce in her determination she has also kept the knowledge that she inherited her late mother’s magical abilities secret from the sadistic Nur king.
Ameera’s story unfolds with expertly detailed world building; atmospheric prose that has been weaved into the threads of intrigue, suspense and a sensual immersive romance which slowly begins to develop when Ameera summons the mysterious unspoken one. We the reader learn who and what this captivating being truly is, and the important role he will subsequently play in the many challenges Ameera faces ahead.
An engaging story that whets the reader’s appetite for an intricately imagined fantasy world, this wonderful tale covers it all.
This is the first book I have read from Ari Reavis and I loved it. She is an outstanding writer with a voice that needs to be heard. She has such a passionate way with words.
Ameera is such a complex character. She has been through so much, to include abuse in many ways. I’m a desperate situation she asks for help from
The Unspoken One. The unspoken one helps her create a fair kingdom, though if found out she summoned them she would be banished. There is such a lovely slow burn romance throughout the book, you can’t help but become invested.
This is a great read. I highly recommend it.
This book surprised me.
going and reading the description i had a feeling i would love this .
it had all mu favorite elements , rebellious princess, forbidden ,dark and quite love interest and a kingdom in dire need of saving ..
It had all that and more i particularly like the arranged marriage trope and it as interesting to see how the mc will deal with this .
the mc herself is this badass ,but kicking warrior princess , who while beging played by two poweful men did not back down but only grew stronger .
though i would be thrilled if i got to see more ,about the dark kings past cause it left a lot to the imagination.
and the romantic scenes were all abit fast paced and the smut was very sarah j massisque
overall a pretty good read
This was 4.5 stars for me! Beautiful storytelling and a plot that just flowed seamlessly throughout. Everything was well planned and well executed, leading to a beautiful finish.
A little bit of magic, a little bit of feminist, a little bit of romance --- this book checked all the boxes!
I went into this book not really knowing much and was instantly intrigued. While the writing wasn't exactly the greatest, it was easy to follow and I got sucked in pretty quickly. I really admired the main character's strength and passion for her people despite her father being absolutely against her.
The magic was really intriguing and even though the romance felt a bit quick at times, I still really enjoyed the story. I definitely didn't expect the explicit content so it was kind of funny and jarring to have the sex scenes in there not gonna lie (I tend to skip those scenes in general). But it was really hilarious because this book felt like it was purposely trying to be formal (ish) for the whole fantasy vibe and then all of a sudden there was a sex scene with more modern language.
ANYWAY, I still really enjoyed the book mainly because I was just vibing and wanted to know how it would all play out. The timeline and pacing felt a bit strange, but while I know I'm complaining about these things, I still couldn't put the book down so that has to mean something.
I really enjoyed the ride, however wild it was.
Also, I think it was cool to have a character who covered her hair like a hijab but without it being made into a religious thing but more of an autonomy thing. It was cool to see that in a fantasy book. This would be something fun for those who like a aquick fantasy book with strong characters and more dialogue and character based books.