The Foxglove King (The Nightshade Crown 1) by Hannah Whitten
Lore has been living by her wits since she was a child, running poisons for the cartel that took her in, avoiding the attention of the law, and keeping her illicit affinity for death magic a secret.
When a job goes wrong and Lore is captured by the Sainted King’s warrior-monks, she expects death. But King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening – or face the pyre.
Thrust into a lavish court where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted, Lore must navigate an intricate web of politics, religion, and forbidden romance and solve the King’s mystery. A mystery more dangerous and twisted than Lore can even imagine. (publisher)
Lore is a poison runner and a spy for her adoptive parents in Dellaire. Magic is a rare thing in the world these days, and some people have noted Lore’s powers. Lore can use Mortem, a kind of death magic. After a poison running drop goes wrong, she is brought to the palace and now must spy for the king. Entire villages are being wiped out, and the king suspects that his son Bastian knows something about it. Lore’s mission is to spy on Bastian and act as a cousin to Gabriel, an aristocrat who is now a monk.
I liked Lore, but as someone who’s been a spy for some time, she’s not a very good one. Like, someone has been spying on her since she was a child. And the two people she spies on in the book know about the spying…
I didn’t really mind the love triangle, but oh well. Too many YA vibes for me. I liked all 3 people but not as a love triangle. And I did like the concept of Mortem and the whole death magic thing and all the court intrigue.
I enjoyed the author’s previous books and was looking forward to this new series. And while it had its flaws, I just wanted to keep on reading and wanted to know what happened next. And I definitely want to know how the story continues.
Published: Orbit (March 9, 2023)