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, and 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.
Beneath the Citadel follows a cast of six characters: Alys, Cassa, Vesper, Evander, Newt, and occasionally the Chancellor. The story takes place in a fantasy world where the city is ruled by a group of incredibly corrupt councilors. They do what suits themselves and the high class, leaving the lower class to fend for themselves. Obviously, this leads to a rebellion. But what was interesting about this story is that the rebellion was in the past. It failed and we are following the next generation, children of well know rebel leaders and other interesting characters, as they try to solve the smaller mystery of why people are getting sick and losing their memories within the citadel.
I devoured this book. Once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop. I loved the cast of characters. They all had well-developed and interesting backstories. Their motivations were clear and easy to sympathize with. They were all really easy to become invested in. They were also diverse as hell. There was BIPOC representation, asexual representation, and bisexual representation. I can’t speak to all of these, but I was absolutely living for the bisexual representation that we got. Even though most of this story was action-packed and plot-focused, I absolutely loved the smaller bits of romance that we got.
The story itself was so engaging. It was unique and creative. There were little mysteries that pulled me in. It was compelling because I genuinely didn’t know which of the “bad guys” were the actual bad guys. I think the writing was also absolutely beautiful. There were so many lines I wanted to highlight and save. Also, a small thing that I noticed, but the story was paced really well and I really loved that the author obviously made a point to include the characters figuring out what time it was in the story. This gave us a guideline of what events happened in a certain time span. I think this was such a great way to show the pacing of the story.
Overall, I will absolutely be recommending this book in the future and reading more by this author. Soria managed to write a compelling fantasy filled with characters that were diverse and so easy to love. I’ve had a hard time getting invested in YA fantasy lately, but that didn’t happen at all with this story.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.