Lorena makes a deal with the prince of a failing country in order to stave off the execution of her partner’s father. She must use her secret, the power of both the Noble and the Vile inside her, to further the research the prince is conducting on the sacrificial door his mother has been keeping shut to protect their world.
Why this book?: It’s Linsey Miller. A better question would be why would I be avoiding this book.
I would like to thank Jackie and Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
I finished this book about a month ago and I’m still struggling with getting my words down on the page. It’s been a long while since I’ve had this experience with a book, and an experience that I’ve dearly missed in reading. What We Devour caught my interest and didn’t let go until I got to the end and started @ing Linsey on Twitter asking how dare she do that to me. What We Devour was such an amazing read, and I have so few and so many words to say about how much I love this book. It was like I was reading Mask of Shadows for the first time again, my heart in my throat the entire time, me on the edge of my seat while I try to figure out what’s going to happen before Linsey ultimately rips my heart out.
First things first, the world might take a bit to understand. It was definitely a learning curve, trying to stay caught up with what a noblewright/wrought and a vilewright/wrought was in the first bit of the novel, especially because Linsey throws you in with zero warning or mercy. After you get the hang of it though, you find yourself wanting to know more about the world, more about the Noble and the Vile and the whole history that was crafted around these gods. You want to know more about how these wrights affect the characters and how it’s contributed to what’s going on in this story. Especially when it comes to Alistair and his mother, the queen.
Going into the characters, though, is so much more complex then the Noble and the Vile. I loved development of Lorena and her relationships with the other characters, especially with Julian and Alistair and the contrasting between her relationships with either one. I especially loved the other background characters, and while I will say some of them were less developed then others, I still found all of them a joy to read and I wanted to learn more and more about them. Some of the characters were so enjoyable and then Linsey just had to throw in other twists which made them even better to read, especially when going back and rereading and adding all the information in to these previous scenes.
The last thing I have to go into is the ending and the various twists that Linsey included. I have no words for how well crafted all these twists were and how hard-hitting and unexpected the ending was. A month later and I’m still processing everything that happened. The biggest thing you have to keep in mind though is that this is an extremely corrupted society (and the jokes about being an anti-capitalist thrust are completely serious) and that all of these actions taken throughout the book are in-line with the type of society Lorena is dealing with.
Final Rating: ★★★★★
I wish there was more to this book, but at the same time it wouldn’t be the same if the ending was changed with adding a sequel. It was so heartbreaking and hard to read but also so beautifully crafted. I cannot wait for my finished copies of this book to come in, because I feel like I’ll need to reread it the moment I get my hands on it.
Additionally, the day I meet Linsey in person is the day I confront her about shattering my heart a grand total of at least three times so far, not counting the two books of hers that I haven’t gotten to yet.
Would I Recommend?
Absolutely, with heavy trigger warnings. One of the biggest warnings for this book is for self-harm, as the magic relies on a system of sacrifice. I would also add warnings for death, suicide, attempted suicide, murder, abuse, and violence. Not to mention all the systematic corruption.
Otherwise, this is a story full of a lot of intense stuff, and I absolutely love and adore this novel. Linsey, you’ve done it again.
Published: July 6th, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count: 336
Synopsis: via Goodreads
Lorena Adler has a secret—she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. She has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. She’s content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.
But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian’s father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So she makes a deal—a fair trial for her betrothed’s father in exchange for her service to the crown.
The prince is desperate for her help. He’s spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile…and he’s losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she’ll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive.