What We Devour
by Linsey Miller
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 06 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 16 Jul 2021
Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Fire
From the author of Mask of Shadows comes a dark and intricate story of a girl with a secret power who must tether herself to a violent and wicked ruler to save their crumbling world. What We Devour is perfect for fans of YA fantasy, dark fairytales, and morally gray characters.
In a world of devastating power and a bloodthirsty monarch, it’s time for the wealthy to be devoured.
Lorena Adler has a secret—she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. She has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. She's content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.
But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian's father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So she makes a deal—a fair trial for her betrothed's father in exchange for her service to the crown.
The prince is desperate for her help. He's spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile and he's losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she'll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive.
Praise for What We Devour:
"A triumphant dark fantasy, What We Devour serves up an incredibly smart magic system with a side of eat-the-rich energy." —Rosiee Thor, author of Tarnished Are the Stars
"A twisting, complex puzzle box, effortlessly weaving sinister bargains, deadly magic, and the ethics of power and sacrifice. With an unforgettable cast and themes achingly relevant to today's readers, this book is not to be missed." —Margaret Owen, author of The Merciful Crow duology
"Everything you could want in a dark fantasy: intricate worldbuilding, a fascinating magic system, biting social critique, charming morally gray characters, and a heroine to die for. Come hungry, because this one is a dark feast." —AdriAnne Strickland, author of In the Ravenous Dark
"A brilliant and bloodthirsty read that pulls no punches, makes us question all of our actions, and begs us to find a way to change the world." —Laura Pohl, author of The Last 8 duology
"Miller pulls no punches in a stark examination of class structures and the consequences of conflating worth and wealth set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. With a cunning main character and visceral prose that will leave you haunted, this book is a dark delight." —Kalyn Josephson, author of The Storm Crow duology
"Dark, mesmerizing and wildly original, What We Devour is a captivating fantasy you won’t be able to put down." —Andrew Shvarts, author of The Royal Bastards trilogy
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 197 members
The perfect read for Grisha fans! Intricate world building, unique magic (contracts), political intrigue, and excellent asexual representation. It’s a story that will draw you in and keep you spellbound with or without a blood contract. Lorena is a dualwrought gifted with power from both the Noble and Vile gods. She signs a contract with the prince to save her friend’s father. Nothing is as it seems and the prince is trying to close the door that leads to the gods who demand human sacrifice. But the Crown doesn’t want to close the door and the peers care nothing for the people.
Filled with raw moments, bloody moments and rare and forbidden powers, WHAT WE DEVOUR by Linsey Miller is a dark young adult fantasy that is both spellbinding and cringe-worthy, but most definitely a powerful read. Lorena must decide to ally herself with a dark prince in order to save the people she loves and the only world she has ever known. Dark, raw and often heavy with atmosphere, this tale has strong characters who will see themselves betrayed, vilified and often misunderstood. Intense from start to finish, high with an emotional charge and graphically told, this is one of those keepers for most age groups. I received a complimentary ARC edition from Sourcebooks Fire! This is my honest and voluntary review.
Deliciously dark, WHAT WE DEVOUR asks a question not everyone wants to answer: what are you willing to sacrifice to change your society? With morally gray characters and a world in which the rich work the poor to death, Miller encapsulates the problems of capitalism in with sharp wit and sharper twists.
This is the “eat the rich” fantasy we’ve all been waiting for—with a fascinating, macabre magic system and a cunning protagonist. Fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Shelby Mahurin will rejoice!
Linsey Miller has really hit a stride with this book. Themes and feelings explored in Miller’s earlier books feel matured here, and you can feel the ease with which things slide into place. The world-building feels more grounded and developed than in the MASK OF SHADOWS duology, but Miller has kept the casual and natural presence of non-binary genders in the background and the fascination with magic that leans just a bit toward the macabre, except the darkness feels more fully realized now, the shadows a bit deeper.
What We Devour was practically a perfect book for me. Initially requesting this book for the asexual representation outside of contemporary fiction, it wasn’t long before I was glad to have requested it for a vast number of reasons. I even managed to tolerate mentions of self-harm, one of my biggest triggers, and move on to be able to keep reading this book and keep seeing the events unfold. And by god, did they unfold at a pace I was not expecting despite the final resolution not occurring until the very last pages. This is a hard one to review because I did love it so much, and I did get largely invested to the point of me spamming my friend with out-of-context spoilers to get them invested in a book they weren’t even reading. There were moments where I cried, where I got mad, where I had no choice but to rant to myself out loud earning glares from my cat. I was so drawn into this book from the very beginning, finding characters I loved and characters I hated and barely having my stance change throughout the pages. While I’m trying to keep this review as spoiler-free as I can, I have this overwhelming urge to pour every thought and feeling about every scene into this very paragraph. I say this often, but I am a very character driven reader. I believe that even the most basic of plots and worlds can draw me in with a well-developed character, but that wasn’t the case here. From the first moment I saw the map I was excited to dive in and learn about this world that had been created. It was easy to just fall into this world, discovering more about it as I read just felt natural to me. The plot was also just so easy for me to fall into, getting more and more curious as I read just aching for the solution and the happy ending that I truly believed the main characters deserved, specifically Lorena, Basil, and Mack. And while the ending was so far from what I had hoped for and expected, it still left me with this feeling and fulfillment. They’d gotten to the end, I’d gotten to the end with them. I can’t start that last section by mentioning that I’m character driven and not dive into the characters, so here it goes. From the start, I adored Lorena. I loved that she’d set up a life for herself despite drawing the short straw and that it gave me aspects of found family, a trope I adore. Each character I met after that was an experience, and a lot of them gave me the “you hate them or love them, no in between” energy. I had definitely favourites throughout the book, and I can’t say I was surprised when I started feeling hatred for two characters I will not name, but will hint to when I say their endings were exactly what they deserved. Lorena’s asexuality was so personal to me, I rarely read about ace experiences that so closely mirror my own and I was so impressed to see that I was getting exactly what I’d hoped for when I first decided to read this. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a character hinted at being nonbinary, using the same set of pronouns that I do and having them respected entirely. I felt safe reading these characters, which is surprising in a story so dark. The magic system in this book took a lot of darker turns, and I shocked myself being able to stomach some of the more intense scenes, as mentioned in the first part of this review. Magic that has aspects of blood magic is always a slippery slope and I was so scared in the first chapters of this book, unsure if I’d be able to handle it despite knowing that it was a content warning to begin with. I’m so pleased to discover that with proper content warnings and a book that I love so intensely that I can push through and still adore the book. Words actually can’t describe how much I loved this book and how much I’m going to refuse to shut up about it when it finally gets released and I don’t feel like I need to hold back on my spoiler-filled opinions.