In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade. In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt. Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her, and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city—or themselves.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley. I picked this book because of the eerie cover and intriguing title. As my first review for October, I figured a creepy and omnious book would be the perfect way to start.
The book alternates perspective with six different characters. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know that I really struggle with multiple POV stories, as I end up preferring one character over the other and wanting to skim through the other parts. However, all of these characters were so different and interesting in their own way, even in the way that they interpret the events happening through the book, that I enjoyed getting to know each character. Some characters, like Cassa, were not necessarily likable characters, as she was arrogant and not always useful, but I still enjoyed reading from her perspective.
The world of Beneath the Citadel is dystopian-esque, in that there’s an overarching government and dark conspiracies. But there’s also some exciting magical features, including unique specialties, like divination and elemental-style magic. I enjoyed the combination of fantasy and dystopia in the book. It led me to some interesting obstacles for the characters and unique backdrop for the plot.
The opening of the book, which features each of the characters on trail for treason, immediately pulled me into the story. It immediately raised the stakes for the story and the action and excitement did not let up from then on. For that reason, this book was a pretty quick read, which I love. However, I did feel as if I was literally dropped into the middle of the story. Many people and events are referenced early on that the reader isn’t familiar with. It left me wondering sometimes if I had accidentally picked up a sequel to another book. Eventually, everything is explained through flashbacks, but I was certainly confused for a while.
Beneath the Citadel is an exciting book, that will intrigue you from the first page. The alternating point of views, while usually frustrating for me, were interesting as all the characters were unique and fun to get to know. The plot drops you in the middle of the story and explains through flashbacks and dialogue, which could be confusing at the beginning of the novel.