When the ruler dies in this world, three maidens are chosen to voyage with him into the Netherworld, to become queens in the next life. This is considered to be of the highest honor, although it too is fraught with corruption. For those on the fringes of society, it can be a boon for the honor of a family. But sometimes maidens are chosen based on the wealth of their families, who frequently offer riches for the honor of their daughter’s choosing. But Kammami, whose sister has been chosen, soon discovers that not everything is as it seems, or should be. And this knowledge puts her in great danger.
Gravemaidens is definitely a page-turner, with good pacing that keeps a reader engrossed in the story. The world building was so well done that I felt as if I were present. And I definitely enjoyed the characters, the good and the bad.
However, I didn’t love parts of Kammami’s story. There were moments when I felt like she jumped to conclusions without much evidence. As an intelligent woman, that seemed out of character for her. She made great leaps of assumption sometimes that seemed weak at best sometimes. On top of that, while I appreciated the mystery aspects to it, it was very obvious from early on “whodunit.” I wish there had been a little more surprise to that.
But all of that being said, I did enjoy the book and am looking forward to Warmaidens, coming December 2020.
My recommendation: If you like a high-stakes, historical fantasy with a richly built world, give Gravemaidens a try!