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Book Review: Divine Rivals

by | Jul 30, 2023 | Book Reviews, Fantasy, Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating: 5/5 stars
Age Rating: 14+
Spice Level: 2/3 chili pepper rating

I stumbled across Divine Rivals while looking for a book to assist in my Fourth Wing hangover. The buzz surrounding this book was electric. And let me assure you, it didn’t just meet those expectations – it leaped right over them.

The book’s premise – rivals evolving into lovers through anonymous letters – hooked me from the get-go. Adding the elements of enchanting magic and the thrilling backdrop of battling gods was just the icing on the cake. I was very excited to pick up this book and glad it did not disappoint. 

Ross’s writing was so engaging that it completely drew me in. She expertly weaved historical details into the plot, adding a dash of fantasy elements that teased the imagination. The subtle undertones of resilience and finding joy amidst chaos make it a comfort read, even as the shadows of war hover in the background.

Tropes in this Book

  • Enemies to lovers
  • Workplace rivals
  • Found family
  • Slow burn

Divine Rivals Summary

Divine Rivals is a riveting tale about two young rival journalists, Iris Winnow and Roman Kitt, who find an unexpected bond amid a divine war that threatens to reshape their world.

Iris, an 18-year-old aspiring columnist at the Oath Gazette, is trying to keep her family from falling apart. Her mother battles addiction, and her brother has gone missing on the warfront where gods, awakened from centuries of sleep, clash in a conflict of epic proportions.

To cope with her worries, Iris pens heartfelt letters to her missing brother and tucks them beneath her wardrobe door. In an intriguing twist of fate, these letters mysteriously find their way to her rival at the Gazette, the aloof yet compelling Roman Kitt. Roman responds to Iris’s letters anonymously, giving birth to a connection between them that grows stronger with each exchange.

As Iris journeys to the battlefront, this magical connection proves to be more significant than she could have imagined. 

My Review

What immediately struck me about Divine Rivals was the beautifully crafted relationship between Iris and Kitt. This was a profound connection blossoming from anonymous letters, where rivals unknowingly poured out their hearts to each other. This concept was not only intriguing but also incredibly well-executed.

I rooted for this romance like their own personal cheerleader. It built steadily and gently from workplace rivalry to an intoxicating, undeniable connection. I was wholly engrossed in the anonymous letters between Iris and Roman – the vulnerability, the warmth, the shared support, and their charming banter. The natural progression of their feelings for each other was a delight. Their personalities complement each other in the most beautiful ways.

Now, let’s talk about the world-building. I loved the blend of history and fantasy. The backdrop of gods at war was enthralling, adding layers of complexity and suspense to the narrative. Ross’s storytelling prowess shines through here – the intricate plot and the rich details all come together to create a vivid world you could almost touch.

Ross has this knack for painting scenes and emotions with her words, filling the story with a sense of hope that acts like a comforting blanket even as the characters face the cruelties of war. It’s this balance that makes this Divine Rivals book such a unique reading experience.

The supporting characters are not just bystanders either. They’re well fleshed out, making you care for them as much as you do for Iris and Kitt. The found family element further adds a layer of warmth and camaraderie to the tale. 

But the true charm of the book? It’s the way it explores the human spirit. Amidst chaos and uncertainty, Iris and Kitt discover joy and resilience. Their growth, individually and together, is a reminder that even in the harshest of times, we can find pockets of happiness and hope. Ross masterfully navigates the multifaceted nature of love – sibling love, familial bonds, and romantic love – as well as the challenging themes of grief, healing, and bravery in the face of adversity. 

I do need to warn you – this book ends on a cliffhanger! I am so excited for Ruthless Vows to be released. Of course, I will update you all on a review here when it is. 

If you found this review helpful, you can check out the book at Bookshop.org here and support local bookstores along the way!