The Blood King by Liz Long
Full disclosure - I totally thought I had this book figured out pretty early on, and then BAM - no I DID NOT.
Which is to say, I ended up super enjoying this book, despite the fact that it is not my usual genre at all. Some days you just need to read something that is outside what you would normally read, and this was the perfect book for that.
Liz writes wonderfully developed, human characters, and I quickly fell in love with Reina - so much so that I am now deeply curious to check out book 2 to see what happens next. I loved the action and mystery, and I found I didn't even mind the bits of romance sprinkled in.
More than that, I loved the parallels between the current state of affairs in the US and the storyline in the book - it somehow makes the story all the more believable, dystopian or not (I don't know if that is a good thing!) For me as a reader, I just really enjoy being able to connect with a story, which I absolutely did here.
Overall, I think this is going to be one of those series that takes right off, because once you are in, you are HOOKED. Pick up the first book friends, you will want to be hooked on this one!
In the kingdom of Brighton, a President-turned-King offers poor teens the chance to join KEY, the King’s Education for Youth. Seventeen-year-old Reina Torres jumps at the chance to be of service to her country, wanting to learn more about Brighton’s history and future through the Media industry.
The King himself takes an interest in Reina, offering private interviews; he soon commands her to marry his cruel son. Reina, however, cannot ignore her growing feelings for Iris, a fellow KEY student, despite knowing the laws. Reina discovers refusal means punishment much worse than death, and why King Magnus hasn’t aged in decades, thanks to his KEY program.