Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Kingdom of Blood & Salt by Alexis Calder [Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway]

Halito! Welcome to the next stop on the Kingdom of Blood & Salt blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Thank you for stopping by! If you would like to win a copy of this book, be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post. ๐Ÿ‘‡ For the full tour schedule, please visit the Rockstar Book Tours website.

About The Book:

Title: KINGDOM OF BLOOD & SALT (Blood & Salt #1)
Author: Alexis Calder
Pub. Date: March 30, 2023
Publisher: Illaria Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 328

An epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Raven Kennedy, and Sarah J Maas.

After spending years training to defend my people from our enemies, I never expected that my enemy would be the one keeping me alive.

Athos is the last human city. A treaty with the Fae keeps the fae, the vampires, and the wolf shifters at bay, while we fight against the dragons at our border. Being a human in this world is dangerous and we all make sacrifices to survive.

When the delegation sent by the Fae King arrives to claim the human tributes required by our treaty, I never expected to forge a connection with their leader.

Ryvin is as dangerous as he is handsome. I know he’s my enemy, and I know I’m supposed to hate him, but with each passing day, he’s more difficult to resist.

But things are changing in Athos. Humans no longer want to bend to the Fae King.

Alliances blur and centuries of lies begin to unravel.

And I’m faced with a choice.

No matter how much I hate him, Ryvin might be the key to preventing war.

But it may mean sacrificing everything….

Kingdom of Blood and Salt is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy with fae, vampires, and shifters. This enemies to lovers series contains violence, mature language, and spice. This is a NA/adult fantasy romance and steam level will increase as the series progresses. Mind the cliff.

When a book compares itself to Sarah J. Maas, I don't expect it be a knockoff version of a beloved series. Unfortunately, there were too many similarities for me to overlook. The main character's name is Ryvin and he controls - wait for it - shadows and darkness. He's intent on "saving" the princess at every turn, despite her being unwilling to see what's right in front of her face. Ryvin repeatedly told her he wasn't the enemy, yet she refused to believe him until it was too late. The one thing she stayed mad about wasn't even within his control. 

This book also markets itself as an enemies-to-lovers, but it was more of a one-sided hateship. Ryvin never appeared to have any negative feelings towards Ara. She only hates him because of where he comes from and because of things she clearly doesn't understand. Her unwavering faith in her family and friends ended up hurting her more than anyone from Ryvin's delegation did. 

Another similarity to A Court of Thorns and Roses were the sisters Ara would do ANYTHING to protect. She would sacrifice her life, choose to live with "monsters," and debase herself if it meant they didn't have to suffer even for a moment. Sound familiar? I wish the relationship between her and her older sister had been expanded on, but none of the secondary characters really developed over the course of this book. I think a few of them had the potential to be more. I even think Ryvin having his own POV would have helped. 

Kingdom of Blood & Salt is a quick read with a lot of action. Ara's life is constantly in danger, Ryvin is always there to save the day, and we see our main character struggle with a singular issue for 300+ pages. I'm not even going to touch on how awful the queen was to her stepdaughter, or how that all seemed to just disappear during the last 5 pages of the book. Their "solution" made me roll my eyes. 

Honestly, I think this book would have been better if Ara had teamed up with Ryvin when she realized things weren't as they seemed in her city. I wish she'd used her brain and acknowledged that what was being asked of her was wrong and tried to do something about it. I also think her sisters being more involved would have made this a better story, too. 

The sex scenes were decent, but nothing to really swoon over. Ara yells at him and claims she doesn't want him (every single time), and then they end up "fitting together perfectly" and having a magical time. There were also some grammatical errors and inconsistencies, but hopefully my copy wasn't a finalized version. 

I didn't hate Kingdom of Blood & Salt, but I do think it could have been better. I kept reading in the hopes it would, so there was something there even if it didn't really work for me in the end. It's also a really big turn off when a book is too similar to what it's comparing itself to. (This one also used the term asteri and had a character named Magda.) (★★★⋆☆)

About Alexis:

Alexis Calder writes sassy heroines and sexy heroes with a sprinkle of sarcasm. She lives in the Rockies and drinks far too much coffee and just the right amount of wine. 

Giveaway Details:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International.
Ends April 18th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hm, this sounds like a kind of mixed bag. The MC constantly villainizing the guy and the one-sided hate... I feel like that would wear thin pretty quickly.

    1. It did! I felt like they kept having the same argument. I know they needed to be "enemies" at first, but they could have worked through their issues and became allies. Unfortunately, It felt forced and unrealistic.

  2. The comparisons and if you likes had me curious, but after reading your thoughts, maybe a library listen.

    1. I think they did this book a disservice by comparing it to JLA and Maas. If anything, I think it would have been better if those similarities had been left out of the book altogether.

  3. Bummer about it seeming too similar to the Maas books. Also, I would think the one sided hateship would be annoying after a while.

    1. It was! You knew they were going to bang and come to some sort of "understanding," but the author drew out her animosity until the very last page. She still sees him as her enemy even though he's saved her life countless times and gone out of his way to keep her safe.

  4. GIRL! It's been forever. I can't get Bloglovin to work anymore - it won't show me new posts by people so I'm behind.

    Anyway! thanks for your honest thoughts. Sorry to hear this was a bit too similar to ACOTAR, and it definitely sounds like it.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

    1. I know!! It's ALWAYS down. When I changed URL (took the dash out) it wouldn't let me update on Bloglovin' for over a year. It's also impossible to get in touch with anyone, and it shows posts on there that aren't mine. I think I just need to give up on it at this point, lol.

  5. Sounds like it was just ok which is fine at times. Love the cover though.

    1. It happens! I can't love them all. ๐Ÿ˜œ


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― Marissa Meyer, Heartless