Kingdom of Exiles

by - October 23, 2019

Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau (2019)

Some quick facts about Kingdom of Exiles

  • It's Assassin's Creed meets Fantastic Beasts
  • Adult romantic fantasy that has the right combo of swoonworthy romance and plot [Contains smut]
  • Cute friendships
  • Noc, the male lead and love interest, is bi

Quick categories

Steamy hatefuck scale: 3/5
  • They get attracted to each other pretty quick but they don't act on it until there's a real connection. Noc is very hot and cold. He won't allow himself to care for Leena because everyone he loves dies. And Leena was betrayed by a lover, so she doesn't believe in love. But her heart is full of it! There's no witty banter here, but they're so obviously drawn to each other, and I wanted them to hurry up and admit their feelings lol. Even if that had deadly consequences.
Secret softness scale: 4/5
  • When they finally get together, they are so soft! (And hard... ehem). It takes a significant amount of character development for Noc to even let himself love Leena. And Leena is a total sweetheart. But once they finally admit their feelings, they get together for real. No stupid miscommunication tropes here.
I loved the other characters scale: 5/5
  • THE SIDE CHARACTERS ARE AMAZING!! Leena has such organic friendships with all of them. Even the beasts have personalities, and they are all adorable. Noc is a true leader who puts the group before himself. There's also a grumpy side character who is my ABSOLUTE FAVE. He's been in love with Noc all this time and my heart breaks for him basically. But he lets Noc go because he knows Leena can make him truly happy... which is just... the purest kind of friendship.
For fans of Broody Hero X and Ferocious Heroine Y:
Noc has to be cold, emotionless, and cruel because his loved ones will die the moment he reveals that he cares for them. He reminds me of Nasir from We Hunt the Flame. Two sad assassins who deserve better than their curse.

Leena remains so warm and loving despite her horrible past. She reminds me of Cindy from Vermilion Lies. Powerful women who have been used and abused by their past lovers, but they survive, grow stronger, and find true love.

On to the actual review

Here is the summary from Goodreads:
Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there's a price on her head. With the realm's most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can't refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins...not even to save the woman he can no longer live without. 
Asssassin's Creed meets Fantastic Beasts is remarkably accurate! It's a very fast-paced, fun, romantic read. It's also pretty accessible to readers who aren't fans of fantasy, but love romance. The worldbuilding isn't too overwhelming, and we learn more about the universe as we join the protagonists on their adventure.

Leena is beautiful, flirty, and kind, but she isn't looking for love. Not after her ex betrayed her and she was banished from her country. She's actively into flings, but her sexuality is never considered a bad thing. So absolutely no slut shaming here, which is good!

Noc is your tortured big brother figure who isn't allowed to show love. There were so many times when I wanted to slap some sense into him... but he redeemed himself by the end. He is a good man deep down inside. He's just emotionally constipated, tbh.

Plus, it's sweet how easily Leena befriends the other assassins. Her friendship with the others becomes just as important as her romance with Noc. AND THE BEASTS!! The adorable beasts! This novel had aspects of Pokemon where she had to battle with them, but at the same time, she treats them like her children. Honestly, the concept was so original for your average fantasy novel. I wish I could read more about her beast-taming adventures. Maybe we'll see that in book 2?

TL;DR 4/5 stars. Read this if you want an accessible and fun romantic fantasy. 

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