The Archer Princess
by E.P. Bali
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add firstname.lastname@example.org as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 19 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 05 Dec 2022
#Enemiestolovers #hiddenidentity #fatedmates #curse #healer #shifter #villaingetsthegirl
PRINCESS. HEALER. REBEL
When a dangerous ancient king and his warriors are unexpectedly released from an eternal sleep, one girl is forced into a situation she’s done everything in her power to avoid: marriage.
For her own safety, second-born princess Altara has made a run for it, across the sea to a school for young ladies, deep in the tropical forests of her mother’s native home, the Ellythian Isles.
Keeping her name and title secret she goes undercover to try to live a normal life at the school. But not everything is as it seems and cracks begin to appear in the school’s facade.
Worse, four bloodthirsty warriors have suddenly appeared at her doorstep and are demanding to re-claim their kingdom. Drawn to the self-proclaimed, ruthless King Ashzale Boneweaver, Altara must navigate her own growing powers, forced weddings and the political machinations of the terrifying, alluring magical warriors they call the Old Ones.
This is an 18+ New Adult Fantasy Romance and is recommended for mature audiences. Each book has a cliffhanger ending but the trilogy will finish with a HEA. Please check author's website for TWs (www.ektaabali.com/themes)
Tropes: Fated mates, hidden identity, break a curse, enemies to lovers, villain gets the girl, healing magic.
"...is a delight to read and the whole book is a roller coaster of emotions, you will laugh, you will cry and it will leave you wanting more!" @Bookloving_Dutchie (instagram)
"...is a delight to read and the whole book is a roller coaster of emotions, you will laugh, you will cry and it will leave you wanting more!" @Bookloving_Dutchie (instagram)
Average rating from 39 members
This was great. I had lots of fun getting into this. I enjoyed myself immensely and would seriously highly recommend!
this was a beautifully done enemies to lovers fantasy romance novel, it was what I was expecting from this type of book. It had beautifully done characters and I enjoyed how real the romance was. The story itself was what I was hoping for and it did everything that I was hoping for. The cover is what drew me into this world and I'm glad I read this. E.P. Bali has a great writing style and I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more.
"As for me, I felt nothing. Not when we stormed the castle. Not when the women screamed in protest. Like my monsters, my chest was an empty shell devoid of emotion. I needed something, and I would get it. That was that. For my entire life, it was as if my emotional range started at nothing and ended with rage—there was no space for anything else."
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘈𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘴 follows Altara Voltanius, born to lightning and lotus, who's escaped her homeland to the security of her mother's maiden island or so she believes. The moment she arrives, right from the tremors that began as soon as she hit earth to the demons lurking around, Altara knows that darkness is at play.
- ~ -
The author has done it again! I'm hooked!
Only complaint is that unlike Saraya's trilogy, the next installment to Altara's story is months away!
But seriously, how am I this in awe of the craft? Like it's the perfect blend of fantasy, humor and romance. The world building, as usual, is phenomenal and it helps to have previously read the other trilogy set in the same world to know the gist of the plot.
And let's talk about the sulty, swoony romance... Like Zale's possessiveness? His reluctant caring attitude? His lusting? Kill me.
Now I'll just be sitting right here, very patiently, waiting for book 2.
- ~ -
4.02 / 5✩
𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘕𝘦𝘵𝘨𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘐 𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 & 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘥. 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘰𝘸𝘯.
This book has some of my most loved tropes: enemies to lovers and fated mates.
I had a hard time getting into the book in the beginning because I hadn’t read the previous series and I felt that the writing style just wasn’t for me.
But I’m glad I kept reading! The story was compelling. There was humour, drama, and lots of tension. I am going to have a hard time waiting for Book 2!
Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for having this available as an ARC.
I was instantly drawn in by the cover as I thought “looks like an awesome warrior princess”. I didn’t realise that this was a sister series to the warrior midwife trilogy, so now I have to backtrack and read those also. Luckily on Ektaa’s website, she mentioned that this could be read as a standalone.
The opening two sentences had me like woah! It engaged me from the beginning and I loved where the story took Altara. She’s a fierce, independent, strong individual who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to get it. It does get her in trouble as we saw in her double marriage.
The situation at the bride school was a bit messed up but I liked how Altara, Malika, Rani and Pia all supported one another. The Old Ones are hot and although we should hate them, we don’t! Kai is just an all round lovely person, so they aren’t all bad.
Can I just say that spicy scene at about 57-58% was one of the most hilarious scenes I’ve ever read! I was just like OMG OMG OMG WTF NO NO, NO WAY! I loved all the humour that came after with the girls in this very unique situation that Altara’s magic got her in.
I loved that this had so much going on - there’s magic, curses, prophecy, shifters, demons, god like men, goddesses, friendship, adventure, mystery, humour and fun. I’ve probably missed some too! Loved that the MC was POC and it’s mentioned on Ektaa’s website that Altara is biracial - it’s awesome having representation in books! It’s the first that I’ve read of Ektaa’s work and now I want to read more! Can’t wait for book 2&3!
Do check your trigger warnings on this.
I received a copy of this book for free from Net Galley.
Overall, I did enjoy this story. The main character is a princess named Altara, and she is fleeing from her home to avoid her cruel stepmother and a marriage she does not wish to enter into. She travels to the island home of her mother, who passed away some time ago. Refreshingly, this main character is not written to be bland or weak. Altara has a strong personality in my opinion, full of confidence in herself. Physically, she is strong and skilled in combat, but she has also withstood torture and cruelty and come out the other side of it still an empathetic and kind person. That being said, there are some themes that could be triggering, so I encourage everyone to check the author’s content warnings.
I wish we would have seen more of Altara’s life before running away. Understanding just how cruel her stepmother was, as well as her relationship with her sister, might have set things up and helped me understand the stakes a bit better.
It took me a long time to finally decide that I liked Altara, however. I felt that at times, she verged on the edge of being too perfect- the magic that she has allows her to take on the illnesses and injuries of other people, literally transferring wounds and sicknesses into her own body to heal, which only takes a short time for her to recover from. She is a perfect shot with any weapon she picks up, trained to be perfect in anything that she does when it comes to manners and behavior expected of her as a royal. Not only that, but she is written to seem beautiful, with perfect curves and breasts. While I did love that a character had been written to be confident and strong, all of it together, and the way she narrates and talks about herself at times, made me roll my eyes a little bit. I was willing to overlook it, though, and was happy that it didn’t seem to be so heavily referenced towards the end of the story. In that same sort of vein, the magic that some characters possessed seemed a little bit too convenient for the story- for example, if I remember correctly, they were able to conjure weapons out of thin air and that just seemed a little too easy for me.
Altara becomes friends with three other women throughout the story. Refreshingly, there is no competition or rivalry between them, a trope I’ve grown tired of over the years. They all support each other and I really hope this continues into the next story. Also appreciated is the sex positive vibe that was apparent, literally, from the very first page. There is no shame put on Altara for her interest in sex and to me, she seems pretty confident in her sexuality. I was a little worried that the story would devolve into smut, especially once the idea of a Vayashi came into play, but to my relief, it did not.
The love interest is named Zale, and he definitely does not start off as someone I would root for. Even now, knowing the reasons why he is so cruel and, frankly, sexist, I’m not totally sold on him. I do love enemies-to-lovers story and I was not disappointed in their slow burn. I liked the common ground that they were able to find and hope that they will be able to work through their traumas together. I’m hoping that the next story will let us learn more about Zale and make him a more likable character.
And yes, I liked this book enough to be looking forward to the sequel, and was excited to see that it’s going to be coming out in February of next year. I totally forgot that the book was supposed to end with a cliffhanger and it was exciting to see that I wouldn’t have to wait too long! Despite the things that got on my nerves a little bit, I liked the world that was built, the magic and the romantic relationship that was started. I love the friendships as well and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.
I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for this ARC.
This book explores the themes of parental abuse and abandonment, as well as depicts scenes of torture and/or physical violence.
After seeing the cover, I knew I wanted to get my hands on this book, but I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was to read; this book’s full of substance. Altara is such a strong female character. I think that her power as a woman doesn’t just derive as a product of her soul’s essence being infused with starlight; I feel that her formidable strength is defined by her empathy and her ability to endure pain in order to aid and abet the healing of others. I only wish that she could heal herself, too. It’s hard to imagine the brutality of a world that would allow a woman to unfairly swallow, inherit, and consume the darkness of others at the expense of her own light. I think that the greatest indignity often befalls upon women, and I was impressed with how Altara carried herself in response to being made to bear so many wounds she wasn’t even responsible for. If I were in her position, I would not do the same.
There’s also such nuance to the plot and characters. Many of them have intricately suffered as a result of others’ disloyalty. Loyalty is a game to some people, but not to Altara or Zale. Their word is their bond. Altara would bring herself to her knees to protest the suffering of another, whether or not she identifies them as friend, foe, teacher, cousin, or sister. Zale would burn the world to a crisp to enact his revenge. I understand his desire for vengeance. Both characters experience suffering and undoing at the hand of their parents. It just goes to show how parents can often betray the trust of their children; and often times, retribution is owed.
They sought, in many ways, to produce the destruction, limitation, denouncement, and alienation of their children. It was deliberate. They didn’t care that their children suffered, they cared only that they made a mistake. Their children were penalized so severely, they were practically assigned delineation as separate, deviant, immoral, other. Unbelievably, wrongly, and indelicately, they were denied grace.
Accountability shouldn’t always take the form of punishment (and why does punishment have to take the form of torture or result in degradation or the emasculation of the self, anyway?) and parents, more than anybody, should understand that, but the parental figures in this book refused to. They sought only to strip something of value away from their children because they felt they were too powerful or out of control; there is nothing more upsetting and dehumanizing than sentencing someone to a life in which they are chained or enslaved to certain torments or negative circumstances because you wish to disrobe them.
There is no greater insult than the intimacy of forcibly, brutally taking away someone’s choice, and seizing their agency or autonomy by force—subjugating them and compromising or undermining their free will. No one should have the power or ability to do that (take away someone’s ability to choose): not a parent, not the State (nation/government), not a king or queen. No one and nothing should be able to so thoroughly render another human being devoid of sanctity, devoid of privilege, devoid of life. You can revoke people’s privileges without taking away their dignity. The violation of human rights in this book was beyond appalling and shameful.
It was hard to read about Altara’s evil stepmother abusing her in such cruel ways—producing her physical torture and dispossessing her of her rights, so she is incapable of challenging her authority and is forced to run away or is driven to suicide.
I also didn’t like the racial component—Altara is biracial; her birthmother was deeply brown-skinned and her father is pasty white. We’re not told the race of her stepmother but I’m assuming she’s white, like Altara’s father, white as the native land he hails from. We are not given a reason as to why Altara’s stepmother tortures her and her sister so I can’t help but believe that her actions are motivated by the fact that she’s a racist white woman who hates her stepchildren simply because their skin is brown. I find it very difficult to accept this kind of prejudice and mistreatment [although prejudiced thinking often stems from ignorance, it leads to hate because it invites censure and promotes intolerance of other races]. This kind of racial discrimination is unreal to me, especially because all I can think is: if you’re not accepting of people of color, then don’t marry a man with mixed/interracial kids? It’s literally that simple.
As a brown woman [African American] myself who’s had to combat a great deal of racism, this was extremely disconcerting, discouraging, and disheartening to read. I felt so much empathy for Altara; I shared her grief, her pain, her suffering. Emotionally, this book was devastating, but the pain and trauma of being abused by one’s parents in this undignified manner was beautifully articulated by the author. I give this book four stars!
This book began slow, but DEAR GOD, it got so good!
I loved it! I wasn't expecting it to get so good. It's slow, but this is one of those few books I'd recommend. This book and the way the story develops are worth it.
Altara escapes to the Ellythian Isles and ends up stuck in a similar situation to what she ran away from. Zale is an extraordinary character, BUT FOR ONCE, I mean this in a GOOD way. This is one of those 1/1000 books that benefit from the dual POV, and Zale's perspectives are used sparingly and beautifully even though the author HAD every excuse to write Zale as an insane animal. HE ISN'T WRITTEN LIKE that, for me this was a surprise and a lovely one.
I'll be looking forward to publishing the two books that follow!
Thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you so much Netgalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC!
The world building in this book is as fabulous as the cover. It contains magic, demons, Goddesses, handsome, brooding male lead whose heart can only be unlocked by fated lover and whatnot! I requested it the moment I saw it had enemies-to-lovers trope and I wasn't disappointed. I love the characters; they are fun, charismatic and courageous. In the middle of the book, something really strange happens that left me speechless. It was equally awkward and hilarious and I had a great laugh with my friends while discussing it. Looking forward to the next book. Recommended!
I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was to read; this book’s full of substance. Altara is such a strong female character. I received a copy of this book for free from Net Galley. The opening two sentences had me like taken by surprise! It engaged me from the beginning to the end. I loved where the story took Altara. She’s a fierce, independent, strong individual who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to stand up for it. I was a little shock and found out this was a sister series to the warrior midwife trilogy, so now I have to research what happened in the other book but I found out that this was a stand-alone.
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this novel.
This book was a binge read for me, I read the entire thing in one day and honestly would have binge read the next two if they were out. It was entertaining and surprisingly funny at times. The main characters were well developed and the world building was extensive without ever feeling unnecessary. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for an enemies to lovers slow burn, with well developed female friendships and a prevalent use of magic.
I loved it so much!
I loved the warrior midwife and it was amazing to return to this amazing world and learn a new story.
The characters are great and I'm excited for the next books!
Many thanks to BooksGoSocial and E.P. Bali for the advanced copy of The Archer Princess via NetGalley, in return for my honest and unbiased review. Quick note: I don’t recap plots in my reviews, as it’s easy enough to read the book’s synopsis and blurbs, I purely focus on my feelings & opinions of how the books makes me feel.
This was a fun read that ended up really drawing me in. There are some lovely cultural nuances featured in the story which I’ve not encountered in fantasy before, which were a joy to explore. It was really interesting to read the author’s notes at the end of the book, detailing her Fijian and Indian heritage, elements of which she has woven into this series.
I did have a little annoyance of the sex-crazed attitude of the protagonist at time. Don’t get me wrong, I love a spicy fantasy book, but reading a strong female protagonist saying her mind is ruled by her clitoris does put me off a bit. But as the story went on, this evened out and found a smoother, more sensual cadence.
The world building was promising, and the character development was very good. The author kept a lot back until the very end of the book, developing an excellent cliff hanger, not only in plot but also in character development. My reading pathway is character development, so this truly hooked me into wanting to read the next book in the trilogy: The Archer Witch, which is due to be published in January 2023.
Moods: adventurous, dark, mysterious, tense
Tropes: enemies to lovers, forced proximity, hidden identity, peril, redemption/dark past, soulmates/fated mates, villain get the girl
Character development: medium-strong
Plot or character driven: 50/50
Trigger warnings: Blood/Gore, Death, Death of a family member, Murder, Physical or mental abuse, Physical illness, Profanity, Suicidal ideation, Torture
This review will be featured on my blog at www.mymentalshelf.com on the publication date
This review contains NO SPOILERS
Holy moly! If I could give this book 10 stars, I certainly would! Mrs. Bali you blew me away!!!!! This book had me in a desperate chokehold and the FMC Altara was so badass and strong! This book contains a beautifully written world with amazing characters. Also, it depicts love and sacrifice, fated mates, and leaves you in a strong cliffhanger. I can’t wait for books 2 and 3 to see what happens with Altara and Zale.
This is a great fantasy novel! Love the strong female lead, enemies to lovers trope, and fate mates! This story mixers the dark and heavy, with the bright and light romance. I loved the POC representation in this book, as the male and female are both. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!
TW: torture, suicidal thoughts, no seggs 😒
~ BEAUTIFUL sexy menzes
~ Sexy male sleeping beauty spin off
~ Luscious, tropical & saree-filled world
~ Great cast of complex & intriguing characters
~ Excellent pacing 👏
~ Beautiful promise of seduction and seggs
~ Sleeping beauty/Snow white-esque male pov
Altara is running away from home. Where better to go than the tropical lands of her now deceased & much loved mother? Where else but a land brimming with magic that calls to her, with seggsy new menzes, mysteries & olden kings trapped underground & wild wild beings. As Tara joins a school under false pretenses, hiding from her stepmother & the demon butcher, her life will overcome her, one touch at a time.
This book exceeded my expectations. I read it in one sitting eagerly rushing towards the end & HOPEFULLY fulfillment, only to be left panting for more (you lieddd authorrr! @ektaabaliauthor). The characters share a lot of different types of trauma & watching them begin to overcome them was rewarding. A fantastic read for lovers of fantasy, great storytelling & unique happenings.
✨𝗚𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱.
~ … 😒 where is it?!??
~ The cliffhanger 😒
~ Not even a proper sustained touch thing for a few hours😒
(I am so upset, but can’t even really complain because I really enjoyed the book 🥲)
♡🌱 𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁'𝘀 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗺𝗲 ;)
What a surprise... this is a new to me author and i just loved this book. The writingstyle is very easy and likable ,reads like a YA. It does have NA content but a very mild spice lvl.
The things i absolutely loved are;
- Strong female main character
- Smoking hot shifters with a definite rough edge
- Interesting magic system
- It does have some darker gritty content.
- Enemy to lovers
- Fated mates
- Wicked sense of humor (blue dingdong)
When starting the book you see the spoiled princess, the one who is very rash, does wat she wants. But the further the story goes you find out there are way more layers to this young female. And that she is not that ignorant and is fighting her own inner demons. She is a strong, fierce and loyal friend. Putting others before her. Overal this all makes for a great start to this series. It makes me even want to pick up the previous serie about her sister. I cannot wait for the sequel to this!
Wow, just wow. When I saw this beautifully done cover art, I had to pick this book up immediately, and what can I say? It was one of my best book decisions, and I'm so happy I found this gem. This was my first read from this author, and you bet it won't be my last, especially after I found out there already is a trilogy revolving around Altara's sister.
E.P. Bali's writing is fantastic and made this book such a pleasure to read. Altara is now part of my favorite female characters of all time. I love that she is such a powerful woman that knows exactly what she wants and how she will get it. Now Zale and his brothers? I can't tell you which one of these hot men I'd want for myself but the choice would probably be all. Altara's girl group has my heart, and I can't wait to read more about them, especially Pia. And can we just talk about the diversity in this book? It was amazing to see so much rep in this, and I am desperate to read the next installment of this trilogy!
Really loved this!
The Archer Princess is about Altara, a healer princess on the run after escaping her evil stepmother and venturing to where her mother was originally from. She takes on a new name to hide her identity and starts to go to a finishing school but it turns out there’s dark forces at play, including the Old Ones, a quartet of warriors, who are awakened after a two hundred year slumber and are ready to take back the kingdom that belongs to their leader - King Ashzale Boneweaver. Tara is forced to marry Zale and despite their hatred for each other, there’s a bond and attraction between neither of them can deny.
I absolutely loved how powerful and sex positive Tara was from the start, though she did sometimes let her needs get the better of her at inopportune moments - which gets her engaged to not only a bloodthirsty warrior king, but to a gross demon as well. But, it was pretty funny how she got into these predicaments and was forced to deal with some consequences.
I also thoroughly enjoyed Zale - possessive, grumpy, a downright dick at times….. but soft for Tara despite having a shadow heart that makes him the best warrior ever. The way he logically doesn’t want to want Tara but she gets under his skin and makes him gentle with her had me giddy and wanting more.
I really loved the side characters as well - Rani, Malika and Pia were all such a fun group on Tara’s side, and I also really enjoyed Kai, Raen and Atax from Zale’s side.
Spice was mild but I have seen that it will get spicier through the series which I’m excited for because the tension between Tara and Zale had me ready to beg them to just fuck already and then stupid demons had to ruin the moment 😭😅
This book ended on a major cliffhanger so I am DISTRAUGHT that the second and third won’t be out until next year so I’m going to have to impatiently wait for them, but I am definitely going to be checking out the sister series by the author which focuses on Tara’s sister, because I am now slightly obsessed with this world that EP Bali has created!
If you love enemies to lovers, fated mates, villains who get the girl, stories where a curse needs to be broken, feisty main characters and their monstrous love interests…. You’ll enjoy this!!!
Trigger warning: grief/loss of parent, depression, suicidal ideation, murder, violence, gore, torture, mutilation/body horror, assault, and mentions of child illness.
Thank you to Netgalley & BooksGoSocial for the e-ARC and opportunity for this amazing read in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book!
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I haven't read anything quite like it. I adored the enemies to lover trope in this book. Th beginning was a bit slow and I didn't understand much but I kept reading and the story became more interesting. That one thing that happened caught me off guard. It was rather interesting….
Overall, I really liked the flow in the book I found it easy to read. And I enjoyed the magic aspect of the book as well. I recommend this book to those that wants; a strong heroine, an enemies to lovers romance, a bit of a mystery and strong friendships.
Readers who liked this book also liked:
Erin S. Evan
Rhys Bowen; Clare Broyles