GRAVEMAIDENS, by Kelly Coon, Delacorte Press/Random House

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Out December 2019

393 Pages


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

I write in many genres including the fantasy genre and I love it. So getting my hands on a book written in this genre is such a great opportunity. If you are a character driven reader, then you may find yourself at times wanting to scream at many of those depicted in this book because they are written in such a way that they inflame you with their decisions and actions. If you are a setting or plot driven reader, then you will love this book for its creative depiction of beliefs and world-building.

Although sometimes annoying, the main character was enjoyable to read about. Her goals were difficultly challenging and some of her decisions a bit exasperating. Yet, as you read on, her character developed evenly and creatively and many of her lame decisions made more sense.

The plot develops strongly and consistently. It moves ahead full of tension and at a fast pace. Some of the sub-plots introduced blend into the main story-line without a glitch and effectively help to push the story and characters’ development along.

Be aware that this book is part of a duology, one of my preferences, and that the story will end in a way to set up the final book. Not all plots, main or sub, will be resolved. However, the story is engaging and affective and you will become emotionally infested in the main character and her plights.

I gave this book:

Five star rating – shiny golden stars

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