Hello booklovers! Today’s review is an idiots to lovers story courtesy of romantic prince and a stubborn theif, That’s right today am reviewing Nocturna by Maya Motayne.
Nocturna is Maya Motayne’s debut novel and the first in the Forgery of Magic series. This series is high fantasy, set in Latin America, and contains lots of magic.
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Finn Voy is a shape-shifting (face shifter) thief visiting the capital of Castellan when an unexpected encounter with a mob boss forces her to steal an ancient relic in the palace. Prince Alfie is still grieving the loss of an older brother and the pressure to live up to his older brother’s legacy as the future king. When Alfie and Finn collide, they accidentally release an ancient power sealed away for the greater good. With Finn’s help, Alfie must vanquish the power, save Castellan and try not to die in the process. If Alfie and Finn happen to catch feelings for each other, well, they’re going to pretend not to notice.
Nocturna offers an alternative reality of Latin American history. A reality in which the indigenous people beat their oppressors and won back their country. As a result, the people of Castellan struggle to remember their ancestral traditions.
The setting for this novel felt new for me because I have never come across a latinx fantasy novel set in a medieval/early modern setting. I loved that Montayne took the history of colonization from all countries in Latin America to create the world of Castellan.
While reading, I tried very hard to guess what real-life country inspired Castellan, and based on the slang and the mention of mangu, my best guess is the Dominican Republic. But I could totally be wrong about that.
The novel’s written in the third person with lots of POV changes, mostly between Alfie, Finn, and Luca. So when things get slow and sometimes heated- bam, a POV change.
[As for the two idiots in love]
Finn Voy is a headstrong heroine who has learned to close off her emotions. She’s sarcastic, witty, and loves to tease Alfie. I love Finn’s outspokenness, and I’d read a novel all about her adventures before meeting Alfie. When Finn comes to terms with her feelings for Alfie, she buries them deeply. After all, she isn’t the type to settle down.
Alfie’s a soft prince whose need to uncover his brother’s death gets him into a lot of trouble. Alfie cares a lot, so I was surprised he did not confess his feelings at all in this novel. In fact, in the end, he lets Finn go and hands her the invisible cloak. How are you going to confess your feelings for her if you can’t see her!
Like I said they’re both idiots.
I’m excited to see more of these pendejos in book two. I also hope Alfie’s cousin, Luca, gets more of a backstory. Luca is interesting because he’s the closest thing Alfie has to a brother. But we never met Luca’s parents in this novel. I’m curious to meet them!
Final thoughts 4 stars! I recommend picking up this novel if you’re in the mood for some fantasy. Content warning for accidental death, childhood trauma, and abusive father figures.
Until next time book lovers, keep living in libros
Ps. The sequel to Nocturna, Oculto is out now! I’m so excited for more longing looks between Alfie and Finn
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