Review #206 // Beneath the Citadel – Destiny Soria

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny SoriaCassa Vera is the daughter of rebels, and she intends to die a rebel just like them. Cassa suspects that the Citadel is hiding something, and she intends to find out what it is. She enlists her four friends, Evander and his sister, Alys, Newt, and Vesper. When Vesper backs out suddenly, everything else begins to fall apart.

Why this book?: I heard there was asexual rep, and it sounded like a really good book.

I would like to thank Miss Print for sending me this ARC as apart of her ARC Adoption Program.

I had high hopes for Beneath the Citadel but while it delivered in every aspect it promised … the whole story was just slightly overcooked and underdeveloped.

Beneath the Citadel starts off in the middle of a plan that’s gone awry, and throughout the rest of the book, you have to catch up to the characters. You learn about the world as the story goes on, and it was honestly hard to understand what was going on without having all of the information. All of the characters are arrested and getting sentenced to death in the very beginning of the book, and it takes a good long while before you understand the full reasoning behind why they were in prison, what they were doing, and how they were caught. In actuality, they never fully explained the first plan either, only referenced barrels and how somehow, the people who caught them knew they were going to be there.

Catching up with the story was one thing, but falling for the characters was something completely different. All of the characters were fairly bland, and I really couldn’t tell you which I liked the most. Maybe Newt or Vesper or Alys, but that’s only after I’ve finished the book and have thought about them. While reading, I really didn’t find myself leaning towards one or the other. They all had basic emotions and worries, but with the chapters being short and switching between five different characters, it was hard to find someone you liked before the narrative was switched.

The one reason I liked Alys was mainly because of her anxiety, asexual, and fat rep. Personally, I thought that was done really well, and I loved how Soria approached it. With the romance, however, I thought it was very sudden. Going back to how you’re dropped into the middle of the story, it’s the same with the romance. You’ve had this relationship building for months beforehand, but the reader is dropped right at the climax of it all, so it just seems weird and undeveloped and sudden. 

Lastly, while Soria’s writing was beautiful and engaging, I could not get over how long this book was. It was completely unnecessary how long this book was, which can be shown by one fact: the characters got caught, imprisoned, and escaped three times before the end of the book. And that’s with everything else in-between. The story was lengthen out to much, and the way the story went was also fairly predictable. 

Final Rating: ★★★☆☆


While I enjoyed the story overall, it was tiring to have to catch up with what was going on for nearly the entire book. The characters were interesting but kind of bland, even though I enjoyed the rep (which included fat, anxiety, and asexual with Alys, bisexual with Evander, and possibly Newt too, though that wasn’t clear.) The book was excessively long and drawn out, but I did end up enjoying the world, especially the powers of being able to take, see, and trade memories. I wish those powers were discussed more.

Would I Recommend?

If you think you can handle being dropped in a story and having to play catch up for the next 450 pages, go right ahead. Like I said, I enjoyed a lot of this, but also struggled with a lot of it. I guess it just depends on what you find more important when you’re looking for books to read.

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

Additional Information:

Published: October 9th, 2018

Publisher: Amulet

Page Count: 480

Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult

Synopsis: via Goodreads

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.

- Avery (2)

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