ARC Review: Admonition by Kathryn Amurra

About the Book:

Title: Admonition

Author: Kathryn Amurra

Series: Soothsayer’s Path #2

Publication Date: June 5, 2021

Synopsis: Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt’s prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect others from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome’s inner circles.

Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome’s childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   

NOTE: This book id FREE on Amazon on June 5, 2021!! Be sure to grab your free copy!!


My Review:

A face that hides a cursed heart will be your undoing.

Admonition is a wonderful historical romance that takes place in ancient Rome and follows Sabina and Lucius. Sabine is a young noblewoman who hasn’t spoken since her husband Felix died. Considered cursed by the gods, Sabine is content with her solitary, grief-filled life, and most steer clear of her. She never intends to find love again and avoids situations where she might be subjected to male interest. However, when she meets Lucius, Sabine’s world is irrevocably changed.

Lucius, the son of one of the most influential senators of the Emperor, is drawn to the beguiling and silent Sabina. However, many obstacles stand in their way including secrets, career moves, another suitor, Sabina’s fears, nefarious plots, and foreboding prophecies. Lucius is determined to convince Sabina that their love is worth fighting for, but when his life hangs in the balance, Sabina must decide what is more important – clinging to her fears or fighting for her love.

The romance between Sabina and Lucius is slow-building and lovely. Sabina’s world was shattered when she lost her beloved husband, and she didn’t intend to ever find love again. However, Lucius, honorable, patient, and understanding, changes her. I like seeing how both characters grappled with their feelings, their responsibilities, and societal and familial demands. I also like that Lucius doesn’t push Sabina. He knows how much she loved her husband, and he lets her set the pace of their relationship. I think this says a lot about his affection for her, as well as his own selflessness. The way that this pair comes together and defies all odds is positively swoon-worthy.

Actions are often calculated. Words are measured. But the soul is pure. It cannot be contrived. I hope you do not find me presumptuous, my lady, but I believe I know your soul. And I believe I am a better man for it.

Sabina is a well-developed character, and her growth throughout the story is impressive. Between her fears of the prophecy and her guilt of loving someone other than Felix, Sabina suffers so much inner turmoil. I think that’s why she spends much of her time supervising her younger, impetuous sister and doesn’t prioritize her own happiness. Her guilt and fears often get in the way of what she really wants.

I also love how Lucius is one of the few people to really look past Sabina’s “curse” and see the good, kind, and selfless woman underneath. Most people, including family, treat Sabina as less than because of her muteness. She is also treated unkindly because of the curse. But Lucius never sees anything but a beautiful, intelligent, and strong woman. Lucius makes Sabina hope again, and it is lovely. Their connection is strong from their first meeting, and it only grows.

He did not wonder at how he could love a woman who had never uttered a word to him. He only knew that it was so.

The setting and time period are a refreshing change from the historical romances that I usually read. Set in ancient Rome, the city and the outlying areas come to life. Amurra paints a clear picture of Rome and the countryside during this time-period and shows how the culture of the time influenced and motivated the characters. Political influences, patriarchal ideals, women’s pressure to suitably marry, and the desire for power all propel characters in the story and offer a glimpse of life for people during this time.

Finally, I want to talk about the relationship between Sabina and her sister Priscilla. At first, I didn’t love this sisterly relationship. It felt like Priscilla took Sabina for granted and barely respected her. She seemed very selfish and self-involved and very different from Sabina. I also felt like Sabina hid behind caring for her young and often impetuous sister. However, Priscilla shows as much growth throughout the book as Sabina. That she verbalizes her realizations, especially in regard to her sister, is very touching, and by the end of the book, I loved this complex yet simple sisterly bond.

It is your love that guides me, and I believe it always will.

Priscilla

Admonition is a great addition to the Soothsayer’s Path series, and though it is the second book in the series, it can totally be read as a standalone. If you’re a fan of historical romances with well-developed characters, a bit of intrigue, and a swoon-worthy romance, then you’ll love this story. Thanks so much to Kathryn Amurra for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!!
  • The sister relationship.
  • The setting.

Favorite Lines:

No intentions can be as dangerous as bad ones.

There is a patient wisdom in how the sea meets the land. It is gentle, yet powerful; tentative, yet persistent.

If you do not give voice to what is in your heart and on your mind, then who will? And how can anyone be the better for it?

Recommendations:

Want to learn more about the Soothsayer’s Path series? Check out my review of the first book:

3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Admonition by Kathryn Amurra

    1. Thanks! I really enjoyed this one!! The books can easily be read as standalones, though a couple of the characters from the first book are referenced in this book. You definitely don’t need to read the first to follow this one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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