Book Review: The Seeds of Exile by Jilly Wood

About the Book:

Title: The Seeds of Exile

Author: Jilly Wood

Series: Elan Intrigues

Publication Date: Dec. 14, 2020

Synopsis: Two princes. A desperate duel. A perilous legacy.

How can a man not know his brother? Prince Daire of Caldermor and his heir, Prince Warrick, were raised apart. Daire’s showy. Warrick’s stuffy. All they have in common is a shared secret duty—Daire creates elan, mysterious golden beans that assure their family wealth and power; Warrick bears witness. Then Daire discovers that elan-making ravages his body. Internally he’s hurt beyond remedy, but if he modifies the time-honored elan ritual he can save Warrick from suffering his fate.

Warrick knows transforming elan is a privilege. He doesn’t believe it’s dangerous. To prevent Daire from debasing their treasured heritage he claims the throne and battle is joined. The arena: an elan-making duel. The loser’s forfeit: exile.Daire wants Warrick beside him, not banished, but he’ll need insight and guile to win the duel without losing his brother—or breaking the ancient Legacy that protects Caldermor.

The Seeds of Exile is the second book in the Elan Intrigues historical fantasy series. If you like quick-witted heroes, royal politics, elemental magic, and life-or-death stakes, you’ll love this spirited novella.

LINKS:     Goodreads     |      Amazon     

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My Review:

The Seeds of Exile is a fabulous continuation to the Elan Intrigues series! The novella focuses on the relationship between Daire and Warrick, two of the princes of Caldermor, and their quest for a better future for their kingdom.

Wood is so skilled at crafting well-layered and interesting characters. Daire, for example, has grown so much and is so different than he was in The Seeds of Power. Gone is the vapid, impetuous, and immature man. Daire is now thoughtful, caring, and loyal, selflessly thinking of other people’s needs and desires before his own. His family motto is, “The price of privilege is duty,” and Daire very much lives by this. He takes his role seriously and tries to bear the burden himself instead of burdening those he cares about. I love his supportive nature, as well as his unconventional and forward-thinking plans for his kingdom.

Daire had reconciled his duty and his instincts before… He just had to try harder, think harder, push the boundaries of the rules that bound them.

The sibling relationship is one of my favorite parts of the novel. Warrick and Daire weren’t raised together, and they are very different. Even though Warrick is Daire’s alter and must bear witness to Daire’s creation of the magical elan, that is where their connection ends. Warrick’s disdain and distrust for Daire are palpable, but Daire is determined to change this. The story focuses on this brotherly relationship and how Daire and Warrick confront their issues.

It was good to have an alter but even better to have a brother.

I also love that Christal and Randsen make appearances in the story. Since the story takes place about five years after the conclusion of The Seeds of Power, it’s nice to see how Christal, Randsen, and their family are doing. I also like that Christal and Randsen have a strong relationship with Daire. Daire found a safe haven at Christal and Randsen’s home, and it is clear that their friendship has strengthened over the years.

In addition to the dynamic characters, the intrigue involving the effects of making elan is fascinating. Making elan has a detrimental effect on Daire’s health, and no one knows why or how to stop it. Daire’s quest for answers leads to several revelations about himself and the future of Caldermor. I’m curious to see where this journey takes Daire and whether he finds answers to the mysteries that plague him.

I loved this layered and immersive story and continue to be impressed by Woods’ skill in creating immersive plot lines and unique characters. Thanks so much to Book Sirens and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The well-developed characters.
  • The sibling relationship.
  • The fantastical elements.

Favorite Lines:

If your marriage brings you as much joy as mine has, you will never know a moment’s regret.

She who speaks first sets the tone.

The price of privilege is duty.


If you haven’t read The Seeds of Power, I would recommend reading that before you read this one. That being said, it can be read as a standalone.

Want to learn more about Elan Intrigues? Check out my review for the first book in the series:

Book 1 – The Seeds of Power

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