Crown of Oblivion – Julie Eshbaugh ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A great fast-paced action thriller, you’ll struggle to put it down

In this mesmerizing YA fantasy mash-up of The Road meets The Amazing Race, one girl chooses to risk her life in a cutthroat competition in order to win her freedom.

In Lanoria, Outsiders, who don’t have magic, are inferior to Enchanteds, who do. That’s just a fact for Astrid, an Outsider who is indentured to pay off her family’s debts. She serves as the surrogate for the princess-if Renya steps out of line, Astrid is the one who bears the punishment for it.

But there is a way out: the life-or-death Race of Oblivion. First, racers are dosed with the drug Oblivion, which wipes their memories. Then, when they awake in the middle of nowhere, only cryptic clues-and a sheer will to live-will lead them through treacherous terrain full of opponents who wouldn’t think twice about killing each other to get ahead.

But what throws Astrid the most is what she never expected to encounter in this race. A familiar face she can’t place. Secret powers she shouldn’t have. And a confusing memory of the past that, if real, could mean the undoing of the entire social structure that has kept her a slave her entire life.

Competing could mean death…but it could also mean freedom.

Fast-paced, action packed dystopian thriller.

This book was an enjoyable read, I do love a dystopian novel and it feels along the same vein as The Hunger Games. Spoiler-free-ish review below 🙂

Astrid is a surrogate to Princess Reyna of Lanoria, meaning she takes punishments that are meant for the princess. More often than not this results in horrific, back shredding whipping. Similarly, Prince Lars, Renya’s brother has a surrogate too called Kit.

Lanoria is a world in where magic exists. We have the ‘enchanted’ those with powers and the ‘outsiders’ those without. Only the enchanted are meant to have powers but somehow, Astrid does.

Astrid’s goal throughout her indenture is to get her sick father citizenship so he can be treated properly. Things go wrong and before she knows it, she is entering the ‘Race of Oblivion’ where the winner and their family receives full citizenship.

Racers have their memories wiped and are dropped in different locations and given a map to find the finish line. Racers often die in this competition so it is a deadly race.

Her journey will bring some shock revelations, broken trust, new relationships and most important of all, discovering herself.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Princess Reyna, I found her very self centred. Prince Lars being the ‘bad guy’ of this story fell a little flat for me, he wasn’t quite there and perhaps he could have been more rounded and well, a bit more bad.

I loved Astrid and how she’s not your typical heroine, she’s been through some really tough stuff, repeated beatings for someone else’s behaviour and then entering a race to get freedom for her family. She’s selfless and is led by her ambition to save her family.

Overall, a great fast-paced action thriller from Julie. You’d struggle to put it down and I hope you love Astrid too.

Happy book birthday @julieeshbaugh Massive thank you to @harper360uk for this copy to review.

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