BY Rebecca Ross
When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.
After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.
To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish—into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.
Divine Rivals is a heart wrenching story about love, loss, found family and the effects of war. I was honestly blown away by this book and it’s one that I expect to stay on my mind for quite awhile. While it’s YA it’s definitely upper YA verging on Adult. It was so beautifully written and I loved the touches of magic.
Iris has had to grow up fast since war came to her doorstep. Her brother left to fight and her mother was lost to bottle, leaving only Iris to support them. I don’t know how she managed to stay so strong when faced with such a bleak reality. Iris was a kind soul who was so empathetic which only lead to her being an amazing writer. The turn her story took about halfway through just felt like the right move.
Roman Kit (better known as Kit) was a lost soul searching for meaning in a life her was forced into. His father made all these life decisions for him and for some reason he just went with it. I loved that we got his perspective and to be in his head while he fell for Iris.
The rivalry between Kit and Iris at the newspaper for the columnist slot was amusing. I loved their back and forth banter and how it was obvious to everyone but themselves how they had a future together. It was charming until it was heartbreaking.
The magic surrounding Iris, Carver and the mysterious letters was intriguing. I liked this little touch of magic that brought them together in their darkest of times. A magical love story unraveling during a time of war.
Divine Rivals is definitely more romance focused; a romantasy. I think we’ll get to see more of the fantasy plot in the next book and I’m really excited to dig into more of the myths and lore surrounding the war.
I also can’t recommend the audiobook enough. It’s dual narration and I loved the voice actors for both Iris and Kit. It just added a little something extra to book and made that more magical.