Due to having a large number of assignments this past month (thank you, Master’s degree), the only way I was able to get through them all was by turning to my comfort genre of fantasy fiction when the stress became too much. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to read a fantasy novel, so it was great to finally tick off some of the books on my to-be-read list. So, I thought I’d share with you the books that I enjoyed the most!


Note: as these books are part of series, there might be some mild spoilers below. 


The Blood Traitor by Lynette Noni 

The Blood Traitor is the final book in Noni’s Young Adult (YA) The Prison Healer trilogy, and was released in June of this year. Despite counting down the days until its release, as well as pre-ordering the novel, I was apprehensive about reading it for two reasons. 

Firstly, it meant the conclusion of this series. As an avid Lynette Noni fan, I will say this is my favourite of her works so far, and was not looking forward to saying goodbye to Kiva and the gang, and their adventures. This brings me to my second reason for putting the novel off: the ending. 

I’m sure that I’ve brought up my reluctance towards endings in a previous article (or articles). To use a cliché metaphor in regard to a novel’s ending: I often feel like an Alternate Universe Goldilocks, who is stuck in a time loop in her endeavour to find a “just right” ending that she is not let down by. 

Well, dear reader, I am pleased to announce that The Blood Traitor is this very novel. My inner Goldilocks was very pleased with this ending, as I felt like it allowed the characters to end their arcs in a way that did not undo what Noni had spent the past two novels building. 

Overall, I loved this book, and I highly recommend it to any fantasy lover out there. Even though it’s a YA series, it’s definitely for an older age group. I guarantee that you will fall in love with the world, and more importantly the characters, if you give this trilogy a shot! 


The War of Two Queens by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

The Blood and Ash series has taken over social media platforms since its release in early 2020. I started reading them later that year and instantly became obsessed. 

However, when the third novel was released in early 2021, my excitement about the series drastically diminished. As it was originally meant to be a trilogy, you can imagine my surprise upon reading the third novel that nothing was wrapping up. It was after completing it that I found out Armentrout’s intention was to make the series into five or six novels, instead. Whilst this accounted for why nothing was concluded, it was ultimately a filler novel. And, I dislike saying this about any book, but a bad one at that. Filled with info dumping, and somewhat repeated content, I was extremely disheartened, and considered not continuing the series. In saying that, the conclusion of the third book ended on a substantial cliff hanger and, me being me, I could not handle leaving it that way. 

So, when the fourth novel was released earlier this year, I bought it. But, similarly to The Blood Traitor, I put it off. I admit this was due to being scared about it being on the same level as its predecessor. However, I decided that I finally needed to know what happened to my beloved main trio of Poppy, Cas, and Kieran (and the great ensemble that is their group of friends). 

I am beyond pleased to announce that the fourth novel not only surpassed the third, but has restored hope that the rest of the series will not disappoint. Armentrout certainly managed to rein in the plot holes that were present in the third novel, and brought the series back on track. 

This series is not for everyone, and doesn’t always feature consistency in its worldbuilding, but I cannot help but love it anyway. 

Phoebe Barsi

Phoebe Barsi

Hi, I’m Phoebe and I’m a contributor and columnist for Opus! I like writing about the creative arts with a focus on anything book related. When I’m not studying, writing, or procrastinating, you’ll find me either reading, plotting, talking, or thinking about books!