Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bookish Thoughts: The Black Lily by Juliette Cross

Once upon a time, humans lived in peace across the land of Varis. ~ Opening of The Black Lily 


The Black Lily (Tales of the Black Lily) by Juliette Cross
Entangled (Select Otherworld), 2017
Fantasy (Romance); 300 pgs

While I am not as into vampire romance novels as I might have once been, I couldn't help but purchase a copy of The Black Lily by Juliette Cross. I had recently gone on a binge of the author's books about dragon hybrid and knew I enjoyed her writing style.

The Black Lily was everything I expected and more. If the description of the book didn't give it away, the reader could easily pick out from the opening chapters of the book that this is a Cinderella re-tellling, but from there the similarities stop. Having lost her mother to a vampire, Arabelle has no love for them. She is the Black Lily, the leader of an underground resistance group made up of humans. Humans are being slaughtered despite the monarchs' assurance that vampires no longer kill humans. And the Black Lily wants to put a stop to it.

Prince Marius, the youngest son of the king and queen, and a direct decedent of the original immortal, is reluctant to attend the Blood Ball where he is to choose a new concubine. He did not expect to be so captivated by anyone, much less the  mysterious beauty who walked through the palace doors. Her wit and conversation only strengthen the attraction he feels for her. He never sees it coming when she stabs him, aiming for his heart. She flees, leaving behind only the dagger in his chest.

The prince was supposed to die that night, but the Black Lily failed in her mission, and is now hunted by the prince and the royal family. Only, Prince Marius isn't so sure he wants to see her dead. He wants to know more about the woman who calls herself the Black Lily and perhaps win her heart.

Arabelle is smart and cunning, and can be ruthless when need be. She is strong in her convictions. I liked her instantly. Prince Marius is a thoughtful man, fair and just. Although he is angry and not quick to trust Arabelle (she did try to kill him, after all), he also wants to understand why she would want to kill him in the first place.

The Black Lily was such a fun read. It is nonstop action from the start. It's pretty dark too in terms of the themes. I'm fascinated by the world Juliette Cross has created. There is one moment in the novel in which Arabelle ventures into the forest and I could feel my excitement building. Not because of some sexy vampire, but because I liked the direction the novel was going. There is romance, of course. Prince Marius and Arabelle make an interesting match--neither one completely trusting each other for a good portion of the novel. Arabelle has reason to be cautious--they both do really--but neither can completely ignore the passion between them.

The mystery itself, who is behind the murders and the why of it, wasn't completely unexpected, but I still wasn't sure. Everything comes together quite quickly in a very tense scene that I can see being great for the big screen.

There are number of interesting characters I wouldn't mind getting to know more, including Sienna who I believe will be featured in the upcoming Red Lily, the next book in the series. Juliette Cross has definitely created a world I would like to explore further.


You can learn more about Juliette Cross and her books on the author's website. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

© 2017, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

14 comments:

  1. Okay, I probably would have passed on this one because of that cheesy cover, but after reading your review it sounds like Juliette Cross is an author I need to try. So good job...you added another book to my already too-long list! :D

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    1. Lark - Those men who like to take off their shirts . . . Haha. Yeah, not the ideal cover. I really did like the book though. :-)

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  2. I'm not a big vampire romance fun but this definitely sounds like a different spin on what I would have expected! I love when a series provides a lot of side characters that are just begging to have their story told!

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    1. Katherine - This one was a pleasant surprise! I don't read a lot of vampire novels anymore, but occasionally one or a series interest me enough to want to dive in.

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  3. I'd have passed on this book too if I haven't read your review. It's the cover I suppose; it's been done too many times and yeah a cliché but I'm glad this book has an interesting story to tell. Your review has definitely piqued my curiosity. :)

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    1. Melody - The cover doesn't really match the book at all, in my opinion. If a reader can overlook the cover, the content is definitely worth checking out.

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  4. :) I, too, tend to avoid books with abs on the cover. Or heaving bosoms. I know I probably miss some good books as a result.

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    1. Jenclair - It's easier to ignore when reading in e-book format, thank goodness.

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  5. I rarely read vampire books, but who can resist a good fairy tale retelling? :-) I'll add this to my list.

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    1. Stephanie - I don't read vampire novels as much anymore, but I do enjoy this author's work and was curious about this book. I'm so glad I took a chance on it!

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  6. This sounds like something that I would enjoy. You are really making me want to pick up a Juliette Cross book soon.

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    1. Carole - I have really been enjoying her books! I hope you like this one if you give it a try.

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  7. It's been a while since I've read vampire romance too but this does sound like a fun read and I'm intrigued by the mystery! Glad to see this was a great read! Lovely review (:

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  8. This sounds like one of those perfect summer reads - action, romance and fun!

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