Savage Lands by Stacey Marie Brown and the first installment of the Savage Lands series was yet another book on my incredibly large TBR pile. I have been eyeballing this book for so, so long. One of my followers (who is the sweetest person in the whole world, please go check her out: @Emsreviewsandrecs) sent this book to me, and… she knows me. She really knows me.
I devoured this book. Not just page-flipping myself into paper cut oblivion. I mean I unhinged my jaw and dropped the damn thing down my throat. So, yes, spoiler. It was so good.
Allow me to tell you a little bit about this story.
We follow Brexley (Brex), a nineteen-year-old orphan who was left under the care of General Istvan Markos. She grew up in the lap of luxury, wanting for nothing. She was trained to be a soldier, honed into a fae-killing machine. The Fae Wars left Budapest ravaged, creating a strange dystopia, and ultimately a mad fight for ultimate control. Unfortunately, her life changes for the worst when she is thrown into Halalhaz – the House of Death. It is said that no human survives within its halls. She meets Warwick Farkas – a legendary killer who now rules the prison with an iron fist. She has earned his attention. And his hatred. It doesn’t take long to realize why Halalhaz has the reputation it does. She finds herself thrown into ‘the games’ where she must fight for her life.
She’s left wondering what will kill her first: the prison, the games, or Warwick himself.
So, yes. I’m into it. So very into it. As soon as I finished this book, I immediately bought the rest. I 10/10 recommend this book to anyone who likes dark/paranormal/slow-burning romance. The lore was unique and surprising. The characters were beautifully executed. And the tension between Brexley and Farkas is absolutely to die for.
I have read a few books whose theme centers on imprisonment, and I was surprised how effortlessly Brown managed to keep it fresh. There were new horrors around every corner. There was more to this story than just the dark stuff, too. Which, of course, I endlessly appreciated (I’m not the biggest fan of “trauma porn”). There was adequate comic relief to allow you to catch your breath. To stop your heart from hurting.
There were a few issues with the manuscript – some sections could have used a bit more polishing. The opening paragraph of one of the first chapters — I assume — was partially missing. I have mentioned before in other reviews that I cut sack for self-published authors. I personally didn’t find that anything (beyond that one paragraph) took away from my overall reading experience.
I definitely recommend this book looking for a gut-churning, heart-racing read with unique lore and an excruciating slow burn.
Dear Stacey Marie Brown,
How very dare you leave us with that cliffhanger?
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