Historical fiction has always been on my reading list. Even when I am not actively searching for another one to add to my TBR (to be read) pile, I seem to find one.
Knowing the Divine Rivals book was a mix of fantasy (and mythology) with historical fiction vibes, I was excited to read it. After watching a few booktoks that really hyped up the story, I was even more excited.
Unfortunately, this storyline wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The overarching idea is a good one. Somewhere along the line, it fell a little flat for me. The characters didn’t grip me or keep me thinking about the book while I went about my daily routine. It wasn’t a book that I would rush home to read.
The TikTok book influencers who are touting this book as “one of the steamiest” or “equal to Fourth Wing” must have bought a copy with deleted chapters.
Cuz, I missed out on all that. The spice level is 1/2 a pepper. At most.
The comparison to Fourth Wing is interesting. The only thing that they have in common is the enemies-to-lovers trope.
Divine Rivals Book Summary
Divine Rivals, written by Rebecca Ross, was published in 2023 and is the first installment in the Letters of Enchantment duology. The story revolves around two protagonists, Iris Winnow and Roman Kitt, who are rival journalists and mysterious pen pals from Oath. They independently decide to become war correspondents to report on the conflict between two rival gods in the west.
When Iris and Roman find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever. After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. Despite wanting to hold her family together, 18-year-old Iris Winnow becomes entangled in this battle.
As war correspondents, Iris and Roman uncover secrets about the gods while navigating the perils of their mission. Their journey leads them to face challenges and discover the power love holds over even the most fearsome deities.
The Divine Rivals series has captured some readers’ hearts with its blend of romance, fantasy, and adventure. The second installment, Ruthless Vows, continues the story and serves as the epic conclusion to the intense Letters of Enchantment duology.
The Characters Of Divine Rivals
Iris Winnow is the main heroine of Divine Rivals, an 18-year-old young woman who is still grieving the loss of her brother, Forest Winnow. Talented and strong, Iris is determined to make her mark in a world at war, even though she wishes that the very same war would end and things could go back to normal.
Roman Kitt is Iris’s rival at the Oath Gazette, where they both work and are competing for a columnist position. As a prominent player in the story, Roman shares a complicated relationship with Iris, and they eventually evolve to become key allies and lovers.
Attie (Thea Attwood)
Thea Attwood, known as Attie, is a war correspondent who befriends Iris Winnow. She brings a sense of camaraderie to the group of characters.
Marisol Torres is the owner of a boarding house on the outskirts of the war-torn west. She does her best to aid the war effort by feeding and housing correspondents, helping at the local hospital, and providing emotional support.
Forest Winnow is a posthumous character who has a significant impact on the lives of the living characters in the story, particularly his sister, Iris. His decision to enlist in the war, leading to his demise, serves as a driving force for Iris’s actions.
Aster Winnow, Iris’s mother, plays a supporting role in the novel. She is a constant reminder of the family ties that Iris and Forest shared, and her presence is both comforting and irritating for Iris.
Lieutenant Lark is a military figure who interacts with the main characters in the story. He offers a unique perspective on the war and its effects on the world in which Divine Rivals is set.
Dacre is one of the gods that has created the war the humans are now fighting in. He is angry with Enva and death and destruction are his temper tantrums.
Enva is a mysterious god who rebels against Dacre. She is saddened by the death and destruction he wrecks on the human world but refuses to give into his demands.
Zeb Autry runs the Oath Gazette where Iris and Roman compete to be columnists.
The Divine Gods (Who Are Also Rivals)
Gods who have been asleep for centuries awaken and enter into a fierce battle. These gods are powerful beings with unique abilities and mysterious motivations, playing a central role in the story. While Roman and Iris contend for the columnist position and navigate a world that is just accepting there is a major war heading their way, the gods carry out their own rivalry (the catalyst for the war that entangles Iris and Roman).
The gods in Divine Rivals are not only powerful, but also deeply flawed. Their rivalries, which drive the novel’s plot, stem from anger, jealousy, and vengeance. The complex relationships between the gods form the backdrop for the main characters’ journey, as they must navigate these treacherous divine landscapes to ensure the fate of mankind and their own love. The gods’ involvement in the lives of the characters showcases themes of power, loyalty, and resilience, as these bonds enrich and define the novel’s world.
In terms of the spice level, it scores a moderate 1 out of 5, making it an acceptable read for a wider audience.
While not overly explicit, the romantic plot still provides some moments of passion between the main characters. The focus on character development and building their relationship makes the story accessible for various age groups, who can appreciate the emotional depth and connection shared by Iris and Roman.
It’s clear that the emphasis of the story lies in other aspects such as its magical elements, the world-building, and the captivating battles between powerful gods. The romantic subplot, although significant, might not fully satisfy those readers craving steamy and sultry moments. Nonetheless, Divine Rivals offers a remarkable enchanting experience that many readers have enjoyed and praised.
Letters of Enchantment
Is There A Divine Rivals Sequel?
Yes, there is a sequel to the popular fantasy book “Divine Rivals” by Rebecca Ross. The second book in the series is titled “Ruthless Vows” and continues the story of the protagonists from the first novel. The readers can expect more thrilling adventures, heartwarming romance, and intriguing plot twists in this epic conclusion.
“Ruthless Vows” picks up two weeks after the events of “Divine Rivals.” Iris Winnow has returned home, bruised and heartbroken from her battles. However, the challenges are far from over as Roman, her love interest, goes missing. The city of Oath is still gripped by disbelief and ignorance, setting the stage for a captivating journey.
Although the book is part of the Divine Rivals Series, readers can expect it to stand on its own with its unique plot twists and character development. With an impressive rating of 4.57 out of 5, “Ruthless Vows” has managed to captivate the hearts of many fans of the series.
The release date of Ruthless Vows is December 26, 2013.
Is Divine Rivals Spicy?
No. Divine Rivals is a young adult fantasy romance story that features gods, magical connections, and a slow-burning romance that is not spicy.
While the book does boast an attractive enemies-to-lovers plot with a growing romantic connection between its two main characters, it’s essential to note that the romance featured in Divine Rivals is not explicitly spicy. It contains a few affectionate moments and precisely one romantic scene. However, this specific scene is on the milder side and leans more toward a fade-to-black, making it suitable for a young adult audience.
Does Divine Rivals End On A Cliffhanger?
Most definitely! Divine Rivals does end on a cliffhanger. Readers should be prepared to experience some suspense at the end of this book. This cliffhanger is absolutely designed to leave readers hanging and hopefully anticipating the next installment, Ruthless Vows.