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Champion of Fate by Kendare Blake

Review: Champion of Fate by Kendare Blake

Champion of Fate by Kendare Blake

Champion of Fate (Heromaker #1)
Kendare Blake
Quill Tree Books
Published September 19, 2023

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About Champion of Fate

Behind every great hero is an Aristene.

Aristene are mythical female warriors, part of a legendary order. Though heroes might be immortalized in stories, it’s the Aristene who guide them to victory. They are the Heromakers.

Ever since she was an orphan taken in by the order, Reed has wanted to be an Aristene. Now, as an initiate, just one challenge stands in her way: she must shepherd her first hero to glory on the battlefield. Succeed, and Reed will take her place beside her sisters. Fail, and she’ll be cast from the only home she’s ever known.

Nothing is going to stop Reed–until she meets her hero. Hestion is fiery and infuriating, but what begins as an alliance becomes more, and as secrets of the order come to light Reed begins to understand what becoming an Aristene may truly cost. Battle looming, she must choose: the order and the life she had planned, or Hestion, and the one she never expected.

My Review

I haven’t read anything by Kendare Blake in a really long time, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I loved the concept. It hints at star-crossed lovers and magic and secrets, all things I love in a book.

And, boy, did it deliver those things. I loved the pacing of the romance between Reed and Hestion. I constantly wanted more for them, but loved every minute of their scenes together. The minor characters are amazing, from Reed’s often-absent mentor to her mentor’s lover and former Aristene to Reed’s fellow initiate. I liked that the order was made up of so many different kinds of women and that made for lots of different kinds of relationships between them. That was pretty cool.

The stakes heightened pretty quickly in the second half of the book especially. I felt like I flew through that last quarter with my breath held, wondering how things were going to turn out.

At the end of it all, I find the only thing I’m disappointed about is having to wait until the next book is released to know what happens next!

I think readers who enjoy epic hero stories– maybe things in the vein of Greek myth retellings or stories about paladins or spiritual warriors– will really enjoy this one.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Reed has tanned skin. Other characters are described as having darker skin. Two women are in a romantic relationship.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Strong profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Kissing between two girls. References to sex.

Spiritual Content
Reed and the other members of the Aristenes serve the goddess of glory. Other nations serve other gods. A prophet of all gods was recently murdered. One scene shows a man praying at the temple of the prophet. Reed participates in several rituals as part of her initiation into the Aristenes. One involves drinking blood to receive magic. Another involves drinking water from a well that reveals her path.

Violent Content
Lots of battle scenes and descriptions of battle. A man holds onto the decomposing head of a corpse, using it as a weapon.

Drug Content
Several scenes show celebratory drinking. A few characters get drunk and say or do things they regret later.

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