Good Morning everyone. Another Monday is here. But today I have a dark fantasy to share. This book has all the darkness you need.
The Chalice and the Crown
Driven, talented, and determined to live up to her family’s fame, Sasha Nikolayeva is ballet’s crown princess. But just when Sasha lands her most prestigious role yet, she falls prey to a host of disturbing neurological symptoms that threaten to end her career and her very life. As her mind and body deteriorate, Sasha spirals into a nightmare world where beauty and cruelty exist in the same breath and villains rule from the shadows.
In the glittering, sharp-edged City of Roses, Sasha is no princess. She’s a thrall, a slave. Thousands like her suffer in cursed silence while citizens enjoy the splendor of the City, blissfully unaware that their servants are anything more than living dolls enchanted to do their bidding. But the City’s slavers know the truth, and they are always watching. One misstep could cost Sasha her life—or her soul.
Even as she endures the violence and indignity of captivity, Sasha can’t help being drawn to the beauty of her nightmare world and the underground rebels who offer her friendship, shelter, even love. Before Sasha can break her chains for good, she’ll need choose between the life waiting for her at home and the countless lives she could save if she stays. To choose a nightmare over her real life, her future, would be madness…but maybe a little madness is just what it takes to change the fate of a city built on lies.
Wow. This is one dark fantasy read. I appreciate that the author gave content warnings in the front of the book. It is one of my favorite things that authors are doing now. If I had gone in blind I don’t think I would have made it past the first few pages.
The read follows Sasha who is torn between two places. Nightmares rule her sleep and seep over into her waking life. In these nightmares she is a slave and it is a cruel place. She remembers that she is a dancer and this is the thing that really helps to create a safe space in those cruel times. I would classify this as a dark fantasy and you can feel the oppression in the writing. It feels like a nightmare and if you aren’t prepared to feel that way.
There is a slight off side romance that isn’t crucial to the plot. The characters are more left to your imagination for how they look as well as the world building. A lot you need to fill in with the small details given. For a lot of the book it is great since it lets you imagine your own nightmare scene.
I would suggest this for those who enjoy a darker theme and to feel like they are in a nightmare. I would equate it to Ghost in the Shell.
This book is set to be released on June 5th. If you love darker fantasy then make sure you pre-order!
About The Author
Kassandra Flamouri made her storytelling debut at age three with “Squirm the Worm,” which was warmly received by an audience of assorted beetles. After many years spent exploring a variety of interests, she went on to study music composition at the Sunderman Conservatory of Gettysburg College. She currently resides in Pennsylvania, moonlighting as a folk musician while juggling writing and teaching. Kassandra shares her heart and home with a very sweet and loving man, a very sweet but excitable cattle dog, and an only intermittently sweet, very old black cat.