Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

This is a case of bookstagram made me do it. Fantasy or magical realism is not my usual go-to genre, but this book seemed to be getting so much love that I felt I needed to give it a go. Especially as it was a bargain price on Kindle (yes, I have one, no it is not substitute for a real book, and yes I am pretty sure I will still be buying just as many physical books).

This was just a fantastic story. Two rival journalists who seem to wind each other up, Iris and Kitt, both have the ambition to be the best at what they do, yet neither is satisfied with the current hand that they have been dealt. However, they have both been finding solace in the letters that they have been writing to ‘strangers’, thanks to their magic typewriters. Kitt is expected to make a match arranged by his father. And Iris has recently lost her brother to the war (is he still alive?) and her mother to an accident. So, both make the decision to become war reporters, and report on the war raging between the gods – bringing them closer together and forcing them both to re-evaluate their relationship.

Kitt and Iris are fantastic characters, and this is a wonderful story – I can see why it has become quite the success it has. This is not heavy fantasy, and it is as much about the relationship between Kitt and Iris as it is the fantastical world in which they live, and, of course, the war between the gods. This is a book that will appeal to those who like a good story as much as those who like a good fantasy. It has definitely left me keen to read the second book of the duology, and I can be a nightmare for remembering to do that (I have still only read 2 of the 3 ‘Shadow and Bone’ stories – and I really enjoyed those, so I have no idea why number 3 is still sitting on my shelf).

Do not fear the hype; give ‘Divine Rivals’ a go – especially if you want to dip your toe into the world of fantasy – this could be a great place to start.

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