There are no spoilers in this review.
The Fever King has had its share of hype around the blogosphere, on bookish social media and more and I have to say, I was both very intrigued and very nervous to read this book. I tried my best to get in with close to no expectations at all and then… well, then I started reading this book and I was swallowed whole. By these words, this world, these characters, everything.
A CAPTIVATING WORLD
Victoria Lee takes us in an apocalyptic United States where magical viruses spread, either killing people or giving them magical powers. It is a delicious mixture of fantasy and dystopia, artfully done and mixing science, politics and magic in such a way that’s absolutely captivating from page one. Everything is so well detailed and thought of, the picture painted feels vivid and so terrifyingly real, I loved it. If it took me a little while to grasp the world and the way it worked, once I did, I was amazed and completely immersed into it, Victoria Lee’s beautiful writing helping in the way. I loved how different, yet how familiar this world felt, too. So, so well done.
A GREAT CAST OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL, AMAZING CHARACTERS
You know me: I live for good characters in my books and boy, did that deliver in The Fever King. I rooted and could feel for Noam, the main character, right away and I just adored how complex and how human he was, somehow that really jumped off the page. His growth, from struggling to fighting back, is stunning for sure, but what I appreciated the most is how he keeps on questioning himself about right, wrong, who is he and what he will do for justice. Also I just wanted to protect him from everything and everyone and when that happens, you know this is a character I LOVE.
The side characters made me just as happy (or…well angry, depending on the situation), everyone well thought-of and the most important ones rightly developed on page. Dara was this sweet tortured complex soul that I quite couldn’t understand, at first, but as we peeled the layers and got to know his own trauma, I could feel for him and love him, too.
I also loved that The Fever King manages to give depth to its villains, too, making their motives compelling and not without a harsh background either.
There is romance in The Fever King, yet somehow it does not take all that space, like it happens sometimes in these kind of books. It’s a slow, rightly paced, complex romance that makes you root for them right from the start and until the very end, your heart warming and breaking along with them, too.
You know when a book stays with you for a while that it made quite an impression and as I write this a little time after actually reading the book, I realized that’s it. The Fever King did make an impression on me and I can’t wait for the world to read it. Definitely recommending it for fantasy/dystopia fans, with amazing diverse, complex characters, twists and turns and heartbreaks and well, if you love a good book, you should read this one.
Final rating: 4 drops!
The biggest thanks to Skyscape / Amazon Publishing for sending me a free digital advance reader’s copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: violence, intergenerational trauma/genocide, immigration, abuse, parental death, mental health and suicide, slut-shaming, ableist language, drug and alcohol abuse, emetophobia. Details on these trigger warnings can be found on the author’s website.
Diversity: Characters in this story are POC, gay and bisexual, Jewish, and have mental illness.
Victoria Lee, The Fever King, Published by Skyscape, March 1st, 2019.
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
Did you read The Fever King? Do you want to?
What’s the last book that surprised you with its twists and turns? Let me know in comments!