“The Narrow Gate” book duo: a review

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If you’re a fan of the Narnia or Tolkien books, you’re going to want to hear about these!

About the books

The Broken Crown

Title: The Broken Crown
Series: The Narrow Gate #1
Publisher: Trouvaille Books
Release Date: May 23, 2016
Genre: Clean YA Fiction

Princess Emilia Aurelius was only seven when she watched her mother die at the hands of her father—martyred for believing in the God of the Atlas Empire’s Insurgo rebels. At seventeen, exiled to a military outpost where no one knows her true identity, she’s vowed to leave her royalty behind and explore the truth of the Insurgo rebels her mother loved.

When the Emperor of Atlas summons the princesses from each of the provinces to the imperial city to choose a wife for the crown prince, Emilia must leave her military life behind to join a royal court rife with cunning and intrigue. Navigating the waters of court politics and budding love are treacherous on their own, but Emilia fears for her life should anyone learn of her Insurgo sympathies.

With an unlikely ally in the captain of the emperor’s guard, Emilia must uncover the truth of the Insurgos, start a revolution, and learn to become the princess she’s vowed never to be, all while protecting her heart from a prince who could sign her death warrant.

The Desolate Reign

Title: The Desolate Reign
Series: The Narrow Gate #2
Publisher: Trouvaille Books
Release Date: February 20, 2020
Genre: Clean YA Fiction

Emilia Aurelius should be a queen, but she’d settle for not being a fugitive. Taking refuge in the Borealis court seems her only chance to find a haven from Emperor Cyrus, who is playing a dangerous game of power with a set of rules all his own. Unfortunately her own country is on the brink of civil war, attacked from within and without by the very people she’s sworn to save—the Insurgos.

With the truth of the Insurgos’ God and agenda murkier than ever, Emilia embarks on a treacherous quest for truth and her rightful place as queen. Neither will come without a price. Political pressure may force her to choose between her crown and her heart, while the search for ancient secrets unearths more questions than answers.

A mysterious prisoner may hold the information she seeks if she’s willing to bargain. What is the Narrow Gate? Can she finish what she started and save the Insurgos from extinction… even if they don’t want to be saved?

My thoughts

I am a huge YA book fan. I’m new to Amory Cannon’s books but I devoured these!

In The Desolate Reign, A king allows his wife to die a horrible death. Then sends their daughter, Emilia, to a far-off military outpost where she’s neither known nor recognized. She trains and fights for years, under an alias. Until Emperor Cyrus summons princesses from each province for his son to select as his own wife. Emilia is her father’s only child. So despite the fact that she’s spent the last ten years training and fighting, she has to adapt to the world of women. Her only ally seems to be the Emperor’s Guard Commander Felix. And the God who has called her to a higher purpose.

But the Emperor, and all his provinces, have an agenda and a genocidal mission against the believers in God, called Insurgos. (The empire formally worships a so-called god that they’ve developed a false religion around. If Emilia’s faith were revealed, she’d be executed. As it is (in addition to having to win the prince’s affections), she’s going to have battles, barbs, and an enormous fight to keep the Emperor from discovering her secret. The emperor has heard of the Gate; and he’s going to do all that he can to gain it for himself, to win eternal life and reign. He’ll do all he can to wrest it from the true God. And anyone from the Insurgos who gets in the way.

And that’s just in book #1!

Emilia’s (and Felix’s!) story continues in The Broken Crown. She and Felix are no longer in the Emperor’s lands. They’re not quite certain where they should be heading, but Felix encourages Emilia to listen to God, the Ancient One, who leads them to go to Borealis, Emilia’s home kingdom. There, she’ll find a forgotten relative, unseen enemies, and a call for something greater that she has no idea how to achieve. But there are voices of wisdom and life waiting to help guide her.

Wow! Emilia’s story combines the life of Esther from the Bible, with a dystopian world, a beauty pageant, and the Roman Empire. Emilia has been called into a holy calling and a life-saving purpose, but she has to learn how to take the daily, smaller steps of the walk of faith to get to those. She’ll make mistakes, of course (we all do!). But her faith and unexpected allies will carry her on. Now, we just need book #3 to find out how Emilia’s, Felix’s, and the others’ stories end!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

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