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The Scroll

The Student News Site of Fargo North High School

The Scroll

The Scroll

Divine Rivals Book Review

Divine+Rivals+Book+Review
Kelley McMorris

“Divine Rivals,” written by Rebecca Ross, came out on April 4, 2023, and quickly took the world by storm. Well, the fantasy-book-lovers world, including mine. Ever since I got into reading at around 12 years old, I have loved the fantasy genre. I read all of the popular young adult ones, including Sarah J Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Stephanie Garber, and more. However, as I got older, I started to enjoy realistic fiction more than fantasy, and eventually put down the young adult books, preferring adult novels.
While I still reread my favorite fantasy books, I had pretty much sworn off all young adult books. So when I heard about the popularity surrounding “Divine Rivals,” I was reluctant. However, after reading the synopsis, I figured that I would give it a try because it sounded interesting. Little did I know that this book would become one of my all-time favorites. Ever since I finished this book, I had counted down the days until the second book – “Ruthless Vows” – came out Dec. 26, and ran to the bookstore to buy it. I started it right away and got about 150 pages in, but due to school and classwork, I still haven’t finished it (but those 150 pages were amazing and I miss it every day).
“Divine Rivals” follows journalists Iris and Roman as they compete against each other to gain a columnist promotion. The two hate each other, but behind separate doors, they secretly have a magical connection that allows them to write letters to each other, no matter where they are in the world. Eventually, Iris has to leave her home and becomes a war correspondent for the newspaper, following both sides of the dangerous war that is infiltrating their world, and struggles through many ups and downs throughout the rest of the book.
One of the best things about this series is the world. With every fantasy novel, there is always a struggle with worldbuilding and understanding it. However, Ross made this world incredibly easy to understand, especially the war aspect. Diving right into a book with a major war going on can be difficult, but she weaves the storyline throughout the book seamlessly. Not only did she write it well, but it is also a very interesting plot. The way she writes emotions, whether it is sadness, despair, or love, Ross does a phenomenal job with it, especially with magical elements (which is why the worldbuilding is so intriguing). Ross had me instantly fall in love with all the characters, especially Roman and Iris. The whole book, I was terrified that something bad would happen to either of them and that my heart would be forever broken. I’m not sure I have ever felt that way about two characters before, which just makes this book even more special to me. Though I especially loved these two characters, it doesn’t negate the fact that all the other characters are wonderful. Ross has a great way of creating loveable characters, even if you don’t physically meet the character until 2/3 through the book. She also includes diverse characters, which are always appreciated and needed to make a great novel.
At the end of the first book, there is probably one of the worst cliffhangers I’ve ever read, and I was stuck for months without any knowledge about the second book, other than the synopsis. I was devastated after reading the first book, simply because it was so amazing, but I was terrified that the second book wouldn’t live up to my expectations. However, as I started reading “Ruthless Vows,” I realized that I didn’t need to worry. Rebecca Ross can do no wrong, and the jump from the first to the second book just amplifies that truth. Though I haven’t been able to finish it as soon as I wanted, I still got enough answers and information from those 150 pages that I could relax. She seamlessly moves from book one to book two without any issues or bumps in the road, which makes it a lot easier for readers like me who read the first book so long ago. I still think about these books every day, and I am very excited for when I can continue reading this duology and see if it has the ending it deserves.
After reading “Divine Rivals,” I plan to read one of her other series, “Elements of Cadence,” which I’m sure will live up to my expectations. No matter if you read regularly, or if you don’t read any fantasy, I would highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone. Overall, I give this book 5/5 Spartan Heads, making her one of my new favorite authors.

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My only hobbies include reading and writing, and I am open to any recommendations, so give me your favorite books and I'll read and review them!
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