The River and the Ravages by J.M Lawler

Maybe mild spoilers. TW: Scene that is borderline rape, but isn't technically rape. Still unsettling/upsetting to read.*





Aaliya Reiner is made of strong stuff. But when her mother passes on, she seems to lose her grip on life. Things don’t seem to get better with her sister, Maddalena, who’s estranged and enjoying the benefits that come in a marriage of power and opulence.

Aaliya takes refuge in a passionate and hidden love affair, hoping to fill the void left by her mother’s death.

But desire can be deadly and the Kingdom of Traegos is becoming a dangerous place. When the dark web of politics and power begins to ensnare the kingdom’s inhabitants, choice and chance collide leaving Aaliya with only one option left to survive.

(show spoiler)


First off, I must say that this is so beautifully written. I really enjoyed the way the author described things, the setting and characters.

I liked the younger sister, Aaliya, but had a very hard time liking the older sister. First impressions stick with me, and Maddalena annoyed me from the get go. However, I think that might be what the author intended, so good job! But the girl got some brownie points from me as the story went on. The ending was quite unexpected for how the book began. I liked that a lot.

I loved how both girls had a distinct and different personality; you can tell which chapter belonged to who with no problem whatsoever.

I really disliked the sex scenes, especially the last one in the book.

Aaliya has this one sex encounter that caused me to cringe a lot. It's a horrible situation to be in. You got to do what you got to do, I understand, but still felt unneeded to be so graphic about it. [Trigger Warning: It wasn't rape, per say, but it also wasn't wanted sex. Sounds confusing, but it is what it is.]

Each person has their own idea of graphic. The sex/violence in books might be fine for some, but too much for others. I wasn't bothered by the violence. I'm just not an "erotica" fan for the most part and this book did have some juicy and descriptive scenes. I'm honestly not a prude at all, but I am asexual, so that might have something to do with my feelings.

There is also threesome sex (2 male, 1 female) for anyone wanting to know.

Overall, I believe many would like the book.

*Author sent me this to review. I am very thankful!*