Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Summary:

Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts

The Review:

I picked up this book on kinda of a whim, okay so mainly it was because of the cover, and the fact that it is an Latinx-inspired fantasy, which I am trying to read more of.

This book follows two main POVs. Finn Voy, is a thief who can shape shift into anyone which of course makes her a good thief, and has a good hustle going on, and tries to stay as far as possible. Alfie is a prince, who is dealing with the death of his older brother, who would have been king. He is mainly dealing with grief and trying to find ways to bring back his brother.

When Finn and Alfie meet I immediately liked their bond, even though they were bitter towards each other at the beginning they did manage to find some common ground and want to help each other out.

The plot involves how Alfie accidentally let on an evil spirit and now they have to work together to stop it. While it may seem thinly veiled what makes it work is the characters and the magic system.

I also really loved the world building. A lot of it was tied to Latinx culture and ideals, which even did a good job at discussing colonialism, which didn’t like info dumps and actually made me more invested in the story. The book also touches a lot of themes on abuse and grief. With Finn, a lot of her character arc deals with trying to escape from an abuser who would constantly gaslight her, which I felt was extremely well done.

In the end, I loved Nocturna. It had extremely well done characters and themes tied to Latinx culture. Finn and Alfie are amazing characters I want to see them continue their stories

 

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