SPFBO Review: Rose in the Dark by Casia Schreyer

25643139Wooo SPFBO! I’ve had a busy July but luckily, still managing to get some books in!

Princess Rheeya Stone-Rose, the eleventh rebirth of the Stone Clan Princess, must find her true love to complete her soul bond and keep her province prosperous. It would be easier if she didn’t feel like every nobleman she meets was cold as stone.
What starts as a disagreement over the management of an iron mine in Stone Clan territory quickly turns into a disaster. Miners are trapped. The Iron Guild refuses to listen to reason. With lives, and the strength and independence of her province, at stake, Rheeya abandons all caution and rides to the Central Mountains to solve these problems herself.
Trouble awaits her there, but so does an important discovery. The Princess of the Stone Clan is about to learn more about her people in her weeks on the road than she has learned in twenty-four years. And she’s about to discover something important about herself as well.

“This cave-in is my fault. I can see it in the eyes of every man here.” Now the men looked at their hands, their feet, each other, or anything else that was not their princess. “So I’m going to dig them out and you are not going to tell me that I can’t!”

This is the story of Rheeya Stone-Rose, who lives in a land where there are five provinces with five princesses, who together form a sort of magical power structure that keeps away evil or dark spirits. Each princess and her soul mate, the prince, have been reincarnated over and over, having to find each other again and together form a bond that prevents the evil spirits from attacking the people and ravaging the land. 

And so Rheeya Stone-Rose of the Stone Clan has been meeting with horrible suitors, and her stewards are trying to puppet her into caring more about the noble families than the common people of the province. So when Tomas Mason, the manager of an iron mine on her lands comes and declares that there’s been a cave in and help is desperately needed, Rheeya drops everything to go and help her people, and shenanigans are abound all around.

This one surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to hate it, but I was’t expecting to really cheer for the pretty princess to find her magical prince and heal the land with magical love. *rainbows and glitter* 467714706182897683467714706182897683467714706182897683

However, Rheeya is pretty badass at times when she is in her element, and I found myself cheering hard for her, and wanting her to find her prince and live happily ever after before I knew it. I read this whole thing in one sitting. It’s not super long, and I managed the entire thing in just over 2 hours or so. It’s well written and it reads pretty easily, with plenty going on to keep it interesting, so it’s easy to just sit down with it for a while.

The romance, which is by design a bit instalove (being that the entire premise is that she needs to find her soulmate by pretty much falling in love instantaneously, lol) was nonetheless slow enough that it was satisfying, and actually quite adorable, and so I was on board with it.

There were a few issues with it though, the first of which is that this book is in dire need of copy edits. There are errors sprinkled throughout it, and while I can handle a few of them, when I start constantly stumbling on words that do not belong, it makes it hard to keep on reading. There are characters who seemed to change names a few times. The most obvious one was Alessandro, who was at times Alejandro. Jared was Jaren. Tomas was Thomas. Hey, Rheeya was always Rheeya though, so I guess there is that! But yeah, someone needs to do a good proofread here. Please.

There was also a bit of a lack of worldbuilding regarding the land these princesses come from. This might be a nitpick on my part, but I really wanted to know more about these dark spirits that Rheeya and her one true love is actually protecting the land from. What are they? Where do they come from? We know they only come out at night, and we know that they will attack people, but why? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Lastly, my eyes did roll once when things got a little tropey, as well, and I am going to call this one out. Bad guy is obviously bad but has to attempt to rape the MC as well just to cement his badness. Because the implication that he’s assaulting the staff and his being a gross creepy asshole in the middle of dinner was not enough, apparently, to make it clear that this is a bad dude. I am le tired. So tired.

But, all told, I did enjoy my time with this one, and I think Rheeya is a great character, whose ‘WHO IS THE PRINCESS HERE?!’ attitude stirred up a ‘hells yes’ from me a few times, and I think that with a good proofreader/editor, this one could shine pretty brightly as a really fun fantasy romance. 6.5/10

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