Review – A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

A River of Royal Blood
  • Writing - 8/10
  • Development - 8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
User Review
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Author: Amanda Joy

An enthralling debut perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone set in a North African-inspired fantasy world where two sisters must fight to the death to win the crown.

Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of marrow and blood–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.

When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.

A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity.”
Release Date: October 29th, 2019

A River of Royal Blood is the debut novel of Amanda Joy, and it’s a beautifully-written dark fantasy full of magick and political scheming. 


A River of Royal Blood

A River of Royal Blood is the debut novel of Amanda Joy, and it is one heck of a novel. This is the first in a new series of the same name, and it already looks like it’s going to be a journey worth watching. It’s a dark fantasy series and is described as being perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone. Having now read both books, I can say that the comparison is an accurate one. Though A River of Royal Blood is, without a doubt, a distinct entity.

In a world where magick is commonplace, Eva has to embrace her magick—or die. For, you see, Eva is the princess of her kingdom, and all princesses are expected to fight their sisters to the death for the honor of the throne.


Amanda Joy - A River of Royal BloodA River of Royal Blood was an intense read—as fans could have expected and hoped for. The world that Amanda Joy describes in these pages is both lush and torn apart by war and prejudices. Honestly, it’s a world that I personally found myself desperate to see more of.

Eva was an interesting character. Her magick is of the blood and bone. And yes, that is exactly what it sounds like. Naturally, Eva is terrified of her magick, an issue she was forced to work through over the course of this novel. It’s probably worth mentioning that her magick did result in a few graphic scenes, here and there. But that was probably fairly evident, given the nature of it.

As for the plot, it was deceptively complicated. There were many pieces in motion throughout the novel, some sitting in plain sight, while others had to be sussed out. It was fascinating seeing how all of these parts unfolded. And I get the impression that the next novel will take these developing plots even further.


A River of Royal Blood was a fast-paced novel. Every chapter brought about new changes and events, so much so that it felt like Eva was constantly rushing around and struggling to keep up. And since that wasn’t far off from the truth, it fits the tone nicely.

I honestly would have loved a chance to see more of the Queendom of Myre and the residents within it. There is a lot of room for potential in regard to the politics of the different species residing in this country. And it’s something that Joy began to tap over the course of this novel. Here’s hoping we’ll get to see even more of that in the next novel.

The conclusion to this novel was not the one I expected, but in many ways, it seemed to fit the story that Joy had been building this whole time. It certainly fits Eva’s character. Though, as with any action such as this, you just know that there’s going to be consequences down the line.


A River of Royal Blood was a fast and fascinating read. The world was lush and intriguing, making use of bloody and brutal politics combined with characters full to the brim of magic. And I can’t wait to see where this series goes in the long run.

It was interesting getting a chance to see a character so afraid of their magick and watching them overcome their own personal biases about it. I know that this has been done before, but I don’t think any of the other novels I’ve read have ever carried this particular tone. And thus, it was a memorable read, for many reasons.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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