Book Review: Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

Title: Gravemaidens
Series: Gravemaidens Duology Author: Kelly Coon
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 29, 2019 Format: Kindle
Pages: 416
Source: NetGalley
Rating: Abandoned

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.


I’ve been trying to read this book since I first downloaded it from NetGalley on May 1. The problem is, the book just doesn’t really hold my interest.

The book is considered fantasy by many readers who’ve given it the genre of YA and Fantasy on Goodreads, but so far, there’s no reason to call it fantasy. Unless you mean because of the world itself – but honestly, I’ve seen no indication of magic. Just primitive healing like you’d have found in medieval times.

I guess the biggest thing is that the book doesn’t get to the point. I mean sure, you have to give the reader something to read, but you also don’t need to take forever to do it. I made it almost 40% into the book and for the most part, the most exciting part was the selection of the Sacred Maidens.

I can’t stand Kammani. She’s whiny and annoying. She refuses to marry the boy who loves her because she wants to be a great healer. She wants to heal the Lugal for her own selfish purposes – to save her sister, even though her sister doesn’t want to be saved. She’s just a seriously annoying character that I can’t get behind. I honestly don’t care if she gets what she wants because I don’t like her.

I didn’t finish this book, which is why it has zero stars. Maybe I’ll try again later, but honestly, as much as I hate the main character, I doubt it.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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