Thank you so much to Mary Beesley for the finished Kindle copy of her newest book, To Unite A Realm! This is an enemies to lovers story set in a very low fantasy world, so if you like adult fantasy romance… Check it out! I read the book in two sittings and have no regrets at all.
My main point to keep in mind: the plot and characters totally carry this book, so if those are your preferred elements, read on!
- Title: To Unite A Realm
- Series: ?
- Author: Mary Beesley
- Publisher & Release: Boroughs Publishing Group, November 2020
- Length: 252 pages
- Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟⚡ for those looking for a quick read!
Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:
Through a prism of lies…
Vera Wilson, youngest daughter to the leader of her country – a county conquered by the tyrannical Grays – agrees to marry Angus Gray, heir to the throne of The United Realm. She hates him and everything his clan represents. But she has to protect her family and believes this marriage will keep them alive – unlike the friends the Grays have already murdered, one right in front of Vera. After a hasty ceremony and an awful wedding night, Vera travels to Alta Glenn, home to the Grays.
At first, life there is excruciating, but over time she learns that everything she’s been taught, everything she believes about the Grays and their clan is nothing more than a web of well-constructed lies. Almost too late, Vera protects Alta Glenn from impending disaster and realizes her husband is the exact opposite of what she expected him to be. Now, she doesn’t know if it’s possible for him to ever love her
The Story: I think the plot/story itself is a great idea. A marriage to promote a peace between the rulers of a realm and a conquered landholding, the only catch being that the Grays are murderous, terrible people.
We follow Vera very quickly through her meeting, marriage, and travel to her new husband’s homeland. Once there, she starts learning the truth about how things really are in the Realm…and surprisingly the Grays aren’t the bad guys. Well. Not the worst anyway. The levels of betrayal and intrigue keep the story moving. There is a side plot of a disease being used as biological warfare, to which a vaccine is available but controlled by Vera’s father.
The book progresses them rapidly from enemies to… well, you’ll have to read to find out if they become lovers.
The World: honestly the world just makes no sense whatsoever, but the plot is moving too rapidly to need that information. The Realm apparently consists of multiple countries or landholdings. One has colleges and labs and science and trains, another had an army and weapons stockpile, one seemed to have marshland and maybe boats, and the leading one, Alta Glenn, seemed to be a Scottish highland retreat community with only horses for transportation and the occasional revolver, although they did have electricity. I don’t know how the heck those people obtained or stayed in power!
The only magic in the book consists of Euns, magic birds that are probably my favorite thing in the book. They are sarcastic, murdery, able to talk, and act as lie detectors. They are essentially giant murder parrots. Although this isn’t enough for me to label the book an epic fantasy at all, I’ll give it low fantasy.
The mix of modern and old just doesn’t always make sense, even if the geography is fairly well described and gorgeous. What were the streets of Alta Glenn even made out of, and how big is the place? I kept picturing a village vs a large town with a main shopping street… I loved the views out the windows though and the journey through the mountain passes.
…and a horse pops out a baby and weans it in a 3 month time period. The other thing I REALLY needed more info on was the disease and bio warfare aspect, what was this thing? Manmade? Lab made? Where did it come from? It’s way too big not to elaborate!
Like I said – just don’t think about the world and enjoy the story. If I hadn’t started thinking this would have been an easy 5 star book for how quickly I devoured it. The characters and story are meant to just carry the book
The characters: Vera is the daughter of the ruler of the scientific country. She has a huge character arc, showing strength and wisdom way beyond her upbringing. Watching her get stronger and meld into the Gray family was lovely.
Angus… I mean he’s a man, but he means well I think. Once the miscommunications are cleared up he gets SO much nicer.
Bear! Bear and Naira are supposed to be evil and terrifying but I really just need y’all to read the book and meet them yourselves. There are a whole host of amazing Alta Glenn side characters that give the book a found family feel.
Content: the book is fairly low on content. There is sex, between a faithful married couple, that is mostly closed door. It’s not entirely consensual at the start but they agree that they made their choices. Otherwise there is some bloodshed, poison, a burned animal, and miscarriage.
Overall: I read the book in one day, so what can I say. Great characters and plot are 100% enough to carry the book through the world that it exists in.