Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens, #1)
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.

Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens, #1) Details

TitleGravemaidens (Gravemaidens, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 29th, 2019
PublisherDelacorte Press
ISBN-139780525647829
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens, #1) Review

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! There were some evil bastards in this book with some graphic violence! But all is well my peeps, you can skim over those little portions! I, myself would like to set fire to those evil beings but that is neither here nor there. I love this freaking book and can we take a moment to love that cover?! I can't wait to have the finished copy in my hands! Anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy......At times you do want to smack some people, including the main character, but that happens. Kammani is the MC Wow! There were some evil bastards in this book with some graphic violence! But all is well my peeps, you can skim over those little portions! I, myself would like to set fire to those evil beings but that is neither here nor there. I love this freaking book and can we take a moment to love that cover?! I can't wait to have the finished copy in my hands! Anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy......At times you do want to smack some people, including the main character, but that happens. Kammani is the MC in this book and she's a healer. K has studied under her father who is said to be the best healer in the whole place. But things happened and he isn't any more. Kammani's best friend is Iltani and I loved her so much. She's fun, spunky and does whatever she has to help her friends. We also have Dagan, well I fell right in love with him. I wanted to smack Kammani for putting him off so much. He's a big love muffin and I ... well.. anyway, moving away from there. They have this creepy arse ceremony that they put three beautiful girls in with some royal jerk when he dies. Yeah, I know right?! I won't say anything else about that because of spoilers. Kammni's sister is chosen to be one of the maidens. Her sister is thrilled because she is dumb. Kammni on the other hand tries to find a way to get her sister out of this horrible fate. K ends up trying to save the king dude so that she can save her sister. K finds out all kinds of evil things are going on and thus chaos ensues. I thought the book was well written, had a great cast, and I'm looking forward to the second book. Gravemaidens is said to be a duology so it won't have that second book syndrome and will hopefully end well for all of those involved! *Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy of this book for review. Happy Reading! Mel ♥MY BLOG
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Delacorte Press, for my ARC!!! Truly appreciated.The premise of this sounds so intriguing to me. Giving me Reign of the Fallen or We Set the Dark on Fire vibes!
  • Sarah Glenn Marsh
    January 1, 1970
    Official comments: A dark and utterly enthralling journey to an ancient land, Gravemaidens grabs you by your beating heart and refuses to let go until the bitter, breathtaking end.Unofficial comments: FREAKING AMAZING!!!!! I loved the cast of Gravemaidens so much, I'm not even sure who I ship! PLEASE JUST READ IT SO YOU CAN FANGIRL WITH ME!
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley.
  • Nenia ☠️ Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Protector of Out of Print Gems, Mother of Smut, and Actual Garbage Can ☠️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds amazing. I'm hoping this will be what GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE wasn't, i.e. good.Don't @ me.
  • Michael Coon
    January 1, 1970
    Gravemaidens is beautifully written with compelling characters and an ending that leaves you wanting to read more and more. Kelly Coon has artfully crafted one of the most exciting novels to hit the young adult market and you won’t regret the choice to join Kammani and her fight against injustice.
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    This cover is lovely <3---I feel like this sounds similar to mangas/manhwas I've read and that has me interested.
  • Jonah ❤️LIBROCUBICULARIST❤️
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars The Boatmans' RefrainThe river is wideThe river is deepI take their souls to earn my keepThe end of dayIs the start of nightI bathe in horror, bask in frightThree queens of beautyMaidens fairI'll hide their souls within my lairFor the river is wideThe river is deepI take their souls to earn my keep This is a great debut novel by the author! And the C O V E R... It's so enticing, beautiful and an open invitation on my book shelf! After reading the first Chapter, I know I am in good ha 4 stars The Boatmans' RefrainThe river is wideThe river is deepI take their souls to earn my keepThe end of dayIs the start of nightI bathe in horror, bask in frightThree queens of beautyMaidens fairI'll hide their souls within my lairFor the river is wideThe river is deepI take their souls to earn my keep This is a great debut novel by the author! And the C O V E R... It's so enticing, beautiful and an open invitation on my book shelf! After reading the first Chapter, I know I am in good hands and I am instantly hooked!The story is about the tradition of the court for having 3 Maidens or rather, Gravemaidens as they were chosen to accompany the Royal King when he dies. YES, in the T O M B.Kammani is the MC and her sister was chosen as one of the 3 Gravemaidens and she beautifully accepts this as she thought that this is such a "great honor". BUT Kammani does not seems to think so as she thinks that "something wicked this way comes" and she's eager to find out what this is!But honestly, I just love Iltani - Kammani's bestfriend - and she's my girl for life! EARC kindly provided by Netgalley, Delacorte Press and the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ____________________________________________OMG OMG OMG!! I just got approved for an advanced copy of this book!!
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  • Rory Power
    January 1, 1970
    history! sensory detail! a healer main character who is Real Good at her job and takes no crap from anyone
  • ♡ Dakota ♡ (Sarcasm is my middle name)
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds like something I have never read before. *Adds to to-read shelf*
  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! This is, I think, the earliest ARC I’ve ever read – it doesn’t come out for almost a whole year! This was a solid debut novel with writing that flowed well (though there were some flies in the ointment.)I’ve been giving out a lot of 4-star ratings lately, which is not like me at all – I’m a fairly harsh reviewer! But I’m lucky to have read so many amazing books over the last month.Sixteen-year-old Kammani is the daughter of the only H ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! This is, I think, the earliest ARC I’ve ever read – it doesn’t come out for almost a whole year! This was a solid debut novel with writing that flowed well (though there were some flies in the ointment.)I’ve been giving out a lot of 4-star ratings lately, which is not like me at all – I’m a fairly harsh reviewer! But I’m lucky to have read so many amazing books over the last month.Sixteen-year-old Kammani is the daughter of the only Healer, or A-zu, in the city-state of Alu. But they live a life of poverty: when her father failed to save the life of the ruler Lugal Marus's only son, they were cast out of their privileged life and now must live in a cramped farmer’s hut. Even worse, Kammani’s younger brother Kasha was taken from the family and is now forced to live in the palace – a son-for-a-son exchange.There isn’t even any prospect of their life improving. Ever since the death of their mother, their father has been a worthless drunk. It’s up to Kammani to toil away and earn their bread by healing others, a pursuit highly unusual for a girl. Meanwhile, her beautiful younger sister Nanaea wastes her time dreaming of their old life and flirting with Kammani’s best friend Dagan. Dagan is another complication. She knows he loves her, but she isn’t sure she loves him enough to resign herself to life as a farmer’s wife. Not when she wants to be an A-zu herself.And then things get even worse. Lugal Marus is dying, leaving behind a daughter – Nin Arwia – to rule in his place, in partnership with his cruel lieutenant Ensi Uruku. When rulers of Alu die, they get three sarratum: three of the most beautiful girls in the city are chosen to be his queens and travel with him to the afterlife. Of course, Nanea is picked to be one of them. It’s a great honour – the whole city is desperate to be picked, because it brings great honour and riches to their families. Only Kammani is fearful of death, and the Boatman who takes you away. She’s lost almost her whole family – she won’t lost her sister too.So begin her desperate attempts to heal Lugal Marus. After all, if he doesn’t die, he won’t need Gravemaidens. She’s thwarted at every turn: first, Nanaea wants to die, for the honour it will bring. Second, she quickly suspects that the lugal’s illness is no ordinary one, and the realisation endangers her own life. Okay, so: I’m sorry, but the villain was obvious. It really, really was. I suspected their identity from roughly the 50% mark, if not earlier. Kammani’s failure to even consider them a suspect – as well as the failure of anyone else to do so – just made me doubt their intelligence. It was ridiculous that she didn’t even consider the villain might be anyone other than the person she’d already decided it was. Especially because the villain had both motive and opportunity.A good 60% of the middle narrative (at least) is taken up with trying to catch and solve the identity of this person, and I was in disbelief that nobody suggested it could be anyone else. It isn’t even that Kammani is stupid: she was just insanely narrow-minded. Another gripe: Kammani discovers that people want to assassinate her because she hears the two guards sent to do it loudly discussing their task. How convenient… I really don’t like it when things rest on stupid characters inexplicably shouting their evil plans for all (and a heroine who was luckily hidden just around the corner) to hear. Now for the good: ✴️ Alu is based on the city-states of Ancient Sumer. This was a fascinating premise , and I don’t think I’ve seen it before! There were some really interesting elements of culture incorporated – e.g. a women who speaks out against a man without proof would have her mouth bashed in with a rock. And, of course, the whole human-sacrifice thing too.✴️ I thought I’d hate the romance at first – I tend to find pre-established romantic connections, especially in YA, weak. But Dagan was something a little different too. Not snarky and elegant, the way I usually like my heroes, but strong, loyal, and honourable. Kammani’s dawning realisation of how much she loved him was a great way of depicting friends-to-lovers. ✴️ Kammani’s best friend Iltani is amazing. Her sisterhood with Nanaea was strong too, even if Nanaea frequently needed a good smack. In fact, the whole book was chiefly about strong female relationships , and it was awesome.✴️ The pacing was nice and fast , especially in the second half, though it was a bit slow in the first one. The very last few chapters were superb in their intensity. Overall As I said, a solid debut. It would have worked very well as a standalone, but this is a duology, so I’m interested to see what happens in the second book.[Blog] - [Bookstagram]
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  • Gita Trelease
    January 1, 1970
    Like your historical fantasy thrilling and fast-paced? Set in a time period you’ve been dying to immerse yourself in? Full of compelling characters, including sinister villains and a strong heroine? If so, read on! GRAVEMAIDENS tells the story of Kammani, a healer’s apprentice, who must use what skills and medicines she has to stop the king from dying—and taking her little sister into the grave with him. But when intrigue at the palace turns deadly, it will take all Kammani’s strength, smarts, a Like your historical fantasy thrilling and fast-paced? Set in a time period you’ve been dying to immerse yourself in? Full of compelling characters, including sinister villains and a strong heroine? If so, read on! GRAVEMAIDENS tells the story of Kammani, a healer’s apprentice, who must use what skills and medicines she has to stop the king from dying—and taking her little sister into the grave with him. But when intrigue at the palace turns deadly, it will take all Kammani’s strength, smarts, and ingenuity to save herself and her family. Kelly Coon’s atmospheric writing and lively dialogue will draw you into the story while the plot’s exciting twists and turns will keep you turning pages until the very end.
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  • Lillian Clark
    January 1, 1970
    Beware the Boatman.Whew! I've just finished an early copy of Kelly Coon's captivating debut, and I'm still reeling from the final chapters! GRAVEMAIDENS is filled with such sumptuous prose and atmospheric world-building that it sucked me in from the first few pages, then it gave me a rich cast of characters and twisty, suspenseful plot to keep me there. If you love heady, enthralling historical fantasy, you need to add Coon's debut to your tbr pile now. (Do it.)
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  • Kal ★ Reader Voracious
    January 1, 1970
    Excuse me, was this book written with my interests in mind?! This sounds like an interesting tale of love and sacrifice inspired by practices of Ancient Egypt, which I am here for. Excited to dive into this world!I am so excited that Gravemaidens will be one of the Reader Voracious Novel19 Books! More information about this book and the rest of my Novel19 class will be posted on my blog in mid-January! Blog | Twitter | Pinterest!
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  • Tony Pullaro
    January 1, 1970
    I had the pleasure of reading a pre-release copy of this novel and I absolutely loved it! The story was written in a way that was so real to modern life, even though it's set long ago. Although Kammani is the compelling star of the book, I especially love her best friend Iltani who uses her free spirit and amazing comedic timing to support Kammani when she needs it most. I highly recommend this novel!
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  • Ash | EmeraldBookOwl
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Delacorte Press, for an ARC!
  • Kacy
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of this book, and I'm so glad I got to read it. The story concerns the fate of Lugal Marus, the ruler of the city-state, and the women chosen to be his Sacred Maidens if he dies. Sacred Maidens accompany dead rulers to the underworld; they must give up their lives to honor the life of their ruler. When Kammani the Healer's sister Nanaea is chosen for this "honor," Kammani feels compelled to save a sister that doesn't want to be rescued. I enjoyed the b I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of this book, and I'm so glad I got to read it. The story concerns the fate of Lugal Marus, the ruler of the city-state, and the women chosen to be his Sacred Maidens if he dies. Sacred Maidens accompany dead rulers to the underworld; they must give up their lives to honor the life of their ruler. When Kammani the Healer's sister Nanaea is chosen for this "honor," Kammani feels compelled to save a sister that doesn't want to be rescued. I enjoyed the book for many reasons, not the least of which was the central figure Kammani. She's an atypical heroine, given that her "power" is the art of medicine and intellect.She serves as a good role model for young readers (and parents) who are looking for an alternative to the Disney Princesses that saturate the market. While she does have a love interest, it's not central to her sense of self, which I really appreciated. Her character development comes from her relationship with her sister and her parents, a relationship that both, in a way, saves and damns her -- as most true-to-life familial relationships do. Kammani reminds me of all the things I loved about Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games -- a reluctant but capable protagonist, a bit damaged and forged by fire; that's my favorite kind. The book is thoughtful but it's also compelling; I resented all real-life situations that took me away from reading it, which was a real page-turner to the very end. This was a fresh change from YA novels I've read in the past. If you're looking for a compelling read with interesting, complex characters, look no further than Gravemaidens. I'm already looking forward to the sequel.
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  • Jodie Lynn Zdrok
    January 1, 1970
    Inspired by ancient Sumer, Kelly Coon's GRAVEMAIDENS is an alluring invitation to a culture far removed from our own time and place, with compelling relationships, a dash of mystery, and much more than a dash of palace intrigue. Coon's storytelling is seamless. Clean prose, spot-on pacing, and lush historical detail make for an immersive reading experience, and Coon's diligent research infuses the story throughout (one scene--you'll know it when you encounter it--is memorably jarring and gut-wre Inspired by ancient Sumer, Kelly Coon's GRAVEMAIDENS is an alluring invitation to a culture far removed from our own time and place, with compelling relationships, a dash of mystery, and much more than a dash of palace intrigue. Coon's storytelling is seamless. Clean prose, spot-on pacing, and lush historical detail make for an immersive reading experience, and Coon's diligent research infuses the story throughout (one scene--you'll know it when you encounter it--is memorably jarring and gut-wrenching). Kammani is a solid protagonist who wears the weight of the world on her shoulders and only becomes all the stronger for it. (Also? There's a good chance you'll ship Dagan.) The true villain in this story is Death, in the guise of the Boatman, and the Boatman sequences are rendered in enticingly chilling fashion. Although this story ties up neatly at the end, I look forward to the next work...if only because it means another satisfying visit to this world. Note: I received an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Holy guacamole. I had the honor of reading Gravemaidens early and WOW. I was hooked from the very first page and instantly fell in love with all of the characters-well maybe not alllll of them. It was a constant struggle with not wanting to put the book down, but wanting to read slower so it wasn't over! I was even reading at work, oops don't tell my boss. This is the first book I've read that took place so long ago and I was extremely impressed with how it was written. Highly recommended!!!!!
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    "In a city-state where girls are selected to join fallen kings as Sacred Maidens in the Netherworld—a dark tradition that is seen as an honor but is, in actuality, a death sentence—a healer's apprentice is determined to save her sister from this fate."
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  • Brenna Clark
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks so much to NetGalley for this eARC! I was first caught by this gorgeous cover, and then pushed over the edge by the premise. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. The world that Kelly created was so rich and intricate, and the power system that was used was so effective. Our protagonist is Kammani, a girl ahead of her time. Her father is a healer who, because of a failure to save the life of a prominent person, was cast out of the privileged life he and his family had led into the Thanks so much to NetGalley for this eARC! I was first caught by this gorgeous cover, and then pushed over the edge by the premise. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. The world that Kelly created was so rich and intricate, and the power system that was used was so effective. Our protagonist is Kammani, a girl ahead of her time. Her father is a healer who, because of a failure to save the life of a prominent person, was cast out of the privileged life he and his family had led into the life of a pauper. In spite of this, he continued to use his gifts for the greater good until his wife was taken from him.This one act set things into motion for many of these characters. Kammani's father fell into despair; soothing his grief with drink. Kammani, who had studied for years under her father, devoted her life to saving others. Kammani's sister, Nanaea, was the closest one to their mother, and as such began to harbor a secret wish to find her again. Their brother, Kasha, was taken from his mother's arms to replace the life that their father had failed to save, and so he was bound to be a servant in the palace for the rest of his days. Life went on, the way it inevitably will, until it was announced that the country's leader (called a Lugal) was dying.The Lugal must have three Sacred Maidens to follow him into the afterlife, and being chosen is supposed to be the ultimate honor. When Nanaea is chosen, Kammani is horrified. She knows what this really means. Her sister's life will be ended far sooner than it should be, and she knows that she has to do something to stop it. What follows is an inspiring tale of the bonds of family and the absolute power of women. A mystery unfolds itself before Kammani, and even at the risk of a budding love with her childhood friend Dagan in addition to the threat that her sister might never forgive her, Kammani defies all the odds to get to the bottom of it.Kammani is a character far beyond her time and her years. She is educated in a way that no other girl we meet in this world is; and even better than some of the men as well, as is demonstrated by a pair of the palace's guards. She has incredible inner strength. She stares death in the face and demands it to bend to her will. She is a hero with the most tortured soul, and it prevents her from seeing how amazing she truly is. I loved her, and I loved experiencing her tale. I am so excited that this is going to be a series, because I can't wait to see what she will do now that her potential has been realized.All in all, this was a captivating novel that I could not put down. I'm head over heels for the lore; the Sacred Maidens, the Boatman, all of it. The cast of characters were so well rounded and fleshed out, and I fell in love with all of them, including the villains. I think Kelly Coon is going to do amazing things in the book community! She has made one hell of a debut!
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  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Kelly Coons' The Gravemaidens is the start of a female-centric fantasy duology set in ancient times with superstitious kingdoms and virginal sacrifices. The youth of the characters and the conversational style writing absorbs you in quite easily when a young woman whose family has been shunned into poverty takes it upon herself to save her sister after she is one of four who are chosen to be sacrificed in honor of the recently deceased king. Using her wits and with the help of her best frien 4.5 Kelly Coons' The Gravemaidens is the start of a female-centric fantasy duology set in ancient times with superstitious kingdoms and virginal sacrifices. The youth of the characters and the conversational style writing absorbs you in quite easily when a young woman whose family has been shunned into poverty takes it upon herself to save her sister after she is one of four who are chosen to be sacrificed in honor of the recently deceased king. Using her wits and with the help of her best friend and her betrothed, Kammani zigs, zags, falls, and gets herself back up as she fights against her status and tradition. Well worth the read. Looking forward to book two, title and release date to be announced.
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book that is painfully slow and while it speaks to an interesting premise it offers nothing new to a story we’ve read before. “Gravemaidens” follows a family cast out of their wealthy society who have suffered loss after loss when the ceremony for the Sacred Maidens, three young women who will accompany the Lugal in death, threatens to take the only sister Kammani has left. Determined to keep her sister alive, she heads off to the palace ready to heal the Lugal by any means necessary b This is a book that is painfully slow and while it speaks to an interesting premise it offers nothing new to a story we’ve read before. “Gravemaidens” follows a family cast out of their wealthy society who have suffered loss after loss when the ceremony for the Sacred Maidens, three young women who will accompany the Lugal in death, threatens to take the only sister Kammani has left. Determined to keep her sister alive, she heads off to the palace ready to heal the Lugal by any means necessary but not before uncovering a murderous plot to steal the thrown and if she’s not careful she will find herself at the wrong end of a blade. We’ve all read some version of this book before and unlike those there is not one aspect of this story that I will remember by this time next week. We have a younger sister who is portrayed as vain and naive as she happily walks to her death, an older sister who has fought to keep her family together regardless of what life throws their way, a flirty gal pal and a cardboard cut out love interest who can bore even the strongest woman to tears. The plot is basic and one you can figure out the second the characters are introduced. The attempt at a twist is so obvious that when the characters go out of their way to prove it I sat there willing myself not to roll my eyes fearful that they would get stuck. It’s hard for me to even say there is romance in this because it is so one sided which I actually enjoyed because I thought maybe we’d be getting a pay off with someone else or better yet nothing at all and having this be centered around family and the bonds they share but instead we get unrequited pining up until the final two chapters when things needed to be tied up. The reaction to death was the only interesting component of this story and it never went there to explain the weight of the sacrifice that is seen by all except our lead as this great honor. If we had gotten any sort of back story or some depth to this practice other than having it serve as a backdrop would have helped when characters were so eager to join the other side and in contrast it would have added weight to the moment when they are confronted with death when the cheering audience and jewels disappeared. I don’t know what I expected from this book but this level of disappointment was not it. **special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
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  • Luna✮MyOwnBookAdventures✮
    January 1, 1970
    Aw.. where did the cover go?*That cover 😻😻😻
  • Heather Christie
    January 1, 1970
    I had the good fortune to be an early reader of Kelly Coon's GRAVEMAIDENS. This novel created a flurry of interest in elite publishing circles before Delacourte/Penguin Random House secured the rights. After my first read, I understand why. Coon creates a world lush with sensory details transporting the reader to another time and place. You can taste the savory food, smell the flowers in the royal gardens, and touch the fine linens and beautiful jewelry. The descriptions are lavish and skillfull I had the good fortune to be an early reader of Kelly Coon's GRAVEMAIDENS. This novel created a flurry of interest in elite publishing circles before Delacourte/Penguin Random House secured the rights. After my first read, I understand why. Coon creates a world lush with sensory details transporting the reader to another time and place. You can taste the savory food, smell the flowers in the royal gardens, and touch the fine linens and beautiful jewelry. The descriptions are lavish and skillfully executed in the exact doses that excite the reader without being tedious. The prose and pacing are strong and swift with a plot full of twists and turns. The main character, a feisty, forward-thinking, apprentice healer, Kammani, must cure the ailing king or her sister, Nanaea, will die because Nanaea has been chosen to accompany the king into afterlife as a Secret Maiden. As Kammani tends to the king, it becomes obvious that somebody is willing to kill Kammani to make sure she doesn't cure the city's leader. Readers of all ages, but especially young feminists, will root for Kammani and they'll most likely stay awake into the wee hours of the night to find out if Kammani can save the king, her sister, and herself. Put this book on your "To-Read" shelf because you will not want to miss it. Remember the name Kelly Coon. She's sure to be a hot, new voice in YA Literature, and one that will stand the test of time. The release of GRAVEMAIDENS can't come soon enough. Unequivocally 5/5 stars!
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  • Sarah Ellis
    January 1, 1970
    I just had the pleasure of finishing Kelly Coon's debut book Gravemaidens. It is a story of strength, courage, and loyalty... but with a sprinkling of self exploration throughout the well crafted story. Kelly's book is captivating and has left me looking forward to more!
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to read GRAVEMAIDENS in advance of publication, and Kelly Coon weaved an intriguing mystery, combining vibrant imagination with history. The setting was richly described, the characters were full of emotion and purpose, and the mystery built to an intense climax, with far-reaching consequences. (I cannot wait for book 2!)The main character, Kammani knew what she wanted, determined and capable in her role as a Healer, and also in her role as a sister. But no matter her inner st I was lucky enough to read GRAVEMAIDENS in advance of publication, and Kelly Coon weaved an intriguing mystery, combining vibrant imagination with history. The setting was richly described, the characters were full of emotion and purpose, and the mystery built to an intense climax, with far-reaching consequences. (I cannot wait for book 2!)The main character, Kammani knew what she wanted, determined and capable in her role as a Healer, and also in her role as a sister. But no matter her inner strength, the things she cared about so dearly (her family and friends), showed her vulnerability. In these small details, most notably the absolute love she held for her sister Nanaea, the story plucked my heartstrings most deeply. And of course, the tragic fates of the Gravemaidens (the cornerstone of this lovely book), had me anxious to find out what would become of them!
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  • Gabrielle Byrne
    January 1, 1970
    Kelly Coon’s GRAVEMAIDENS has strong characters and relationships that reminded me of the Hunger Games, but within the epic scope of the ancient world. Kammani is a savvy heroine who knows there’s more to the “honor” of being a gravemaiden than the aristocracy want to acknowledge. Strong-willed and versed in the medical training of her father, Kammani infiltrates the palace and risks her life to try and save her sister in this fast-paced and richly sensory story. GRAVEMAIDENS is full of danger a Kelly Coon’s GRAVEMAIDENS has strong characters and relationships that reminded me of the Hunger Games, but within the epic scope of the ancient world. Kammani is a savvy heroine who knows there’s more to the “honor” of being a gravemaiden than the aristocracy want to acknowledge. Strong-willed and versed in the medical training of her father, Kammani infiltrates the palace and risks her life to try and save her sister in this fast-paced and richly sensory story. GRAVEMAIDENS is full of danger and harrowing moments that will have you white-knuckle gripping the book like it’s a lifeline.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Not knowing what exactly comes after you die, being prepared with wealth and companions surrounding you seems like a sound plan but the reality as it's enacted in Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon seems more of a dire consequence than a great honor.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.Kammani is a determined young woman and hard worker, trying to become as skilled a healer as her father. After being cast out of a life of privileged status withi Not knowing what exactly comes after you die, being prepared with wealth and companions surrounding you seems like a sound plan but the reality as it's enacted in Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon seems more of a dire consequence than a great honor.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.Kammani is a determined young woman and hard worker, trying to become as skilled a healer as her father. After being cast out of a life of privileged status within the palace for not being able to save gravely injured son of the lugal, Kammani's family has fallen on difficult times, compounded by her father's wallowing in grief and his cups. When the lugal becomes deathly ill, the three sacred maidens to accompany him to the Netherworld when he dies are selected, one of whom is Kammani's sister Nanaea. Driven by a desire to prevent her sister's death, Kammani schemes to get into the palace to try to heal the ailing lugal. In treating the lugal, Kammani uncovers some startling secrets of those close to him and the throne, placing herself in grave danger while she's prepared to sacrifice everything to reveal the truth.A dark story of human sacrifice cloaked in the guise of tradition and honor, the narrative was compelling, easy to read despite the violence, and well-written with distinct characters, making it an immersive experience. Kammani's character was quickly established, highlighting her determination to solve problems regardless of societal norms and she isn't without flaws, which makes her more realistic; however, her single-mindedness is an incredibly frustrating flaw when contrasted with her otherwise learned and logical behavior as her conviction leads her, and others, into greater danger (because the true villain was rather obvious). Though I'm generally wary of most romances with respect to their believability and development, the relationship between Kammani and Dagan worked well and showed their growth from a childhood friendship to a young adult romantic partnership without overshadowing the primary plot.
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  • Bee
    January 1, 1970
    Premise: heroine's sister is selected to accompany the current ruler's corpse into the underworld. This is a great honor, even though it means the death of those women selected. Heroine must find a way to heal the dying ruler so that her sister is not sacrificed, much to the annoyance of the sister who is being treated like royalty. The story takes place in a unique world that I never fully felt comfortable in, with characters that were almost extreme stereotypes in their behavior:- Young and pr Premise: heroine's sister is selected to accompany the current ruler's corpse into the underworld. This is a great honor, even though it means the death of those women selected. Heroine must find a way to heal the dying ruler so that her sister is not sacrificed, much to the annoyance of the sister who is being treated like royalty. The story takes place in a unique world that I never fully felt comfortable in, with characters that were almost extreme stereotypes in their behavior:- Young and pretty heroine with no mother, sacrifices everything to care for her rather ungrateful family. - Disgraced father who drinks his sorrows away.- Immature & vapid beautiful younger sister who treats older sister dismissively until she has to bail her out when things go south. - Mischievous friend who seems flaky but always manages to appear at the most opportune times to help strengthen heroine.- Handsome young suitor who unselfishly supports heroine despite not having his feelings returned the way he hopes.- Evil bad guys/gals with scary reputations that are concerned with power, revenge, and manipulating everyone and everything around them.I had high hopes for this book although I found myself fairly restless throughout most of it. Very predictable story and the heroine, despite having healing knowledge, was none too quick in picking up on major clues, making for a frustrating and eye-rolling read. I feel like so much more could have been done with this story to round out the characters and build out the world a little better instead of relying on a tired formula. My favorite part was the insanely gorgeous cover art that the story never quite lived up to.
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